Assessment of the farm management of culling cattle: a survey of existing practices and suggestions for drafting of best practices
AbstractThe aim of this study is to evaluate different aspects regarding culled cattle and to suggest operating procedures for their correct management. Information collected in Piedmont region allowed for an assessment of the number of cattle put down on the farm, a quantification of slaughters performed in urgency and emergency (SUS/SES) and a headcount of those which died during farming. The survey highlighted the limited use of euthanasia or putting down compared to the number of cases of SUS/SES which were approximately ten times higher. If cattle displays severe health problems, such as a multifactorial disease like downer cow, the farmer has to decide rapidly the treatment to avoid cattle distress. A checklist has been developed and a flow chart has been revised to assist farmers and vets to quicken the decision-taking process and to manage the cattle in a more efficient manner. During this study a number of different problems have been stressed out. Particularly, the shortcomings in the training of operators commissioned to manage the animals, the inadequacy of structures used for the sheltering and slaughter of bovines on the farm, and differences in the operating procedures for culled cattle across the territory. From the obtained results, we can conclude that it is necessary to adopt a transversal approach, so that the information regarding these animals (welfare, health status, drug treatments and destination) will be uniform and adequate during all the steps of production, to ensure animal welfare and food safety.
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Copyright (c) 2014 Alessandro Russo Frattasi, Lorenzo Cesano, Michelangelo Botta, Daniele Pattono
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