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Approaches in Poultry, Dairy & Veterinary Sciences

Analysis of Different Pre-Slaughter Management Systems of Broilers and Their Impact on Animal Welfare: Dead on Arrival, Injuries and Stress

  • Open or CloseRicardo Lacava Bailone1*, Moira Harris2, Ricardo Borra3, Luis Kluwe de Aguiar4, Hirla Fukushima3 and Roberto de Oliveira Roça5

    1São Paulo State University (UNESP)-Botucatu, Brazil/Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, São Carlos, Brazil

    2Department of Animal Production, Welfare and Veterinary Sciences, Harper Adams University, UK

    3Department of Genetics and Evolution, Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCAR)-São Carlos, Brazil

    4Department of Food Technology and Innovation, Harper Adams University, Shrophishire, UK

    5Department of Animal Production, Sao Paulo State University (UNESP)-Botucatu, Brazil

    *Corresponding author: Ricardo Lacava Bailone, São Paulo State University (UNESP)- Botucatu, Brazil/Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, São Carlos, Brazil

Submission: March 11, 2021;Published: March 25, 2021

DOI: 10.31031/APDV.2021.08.000685

ISSN : 2576-9162
Volume8 Issue2


Despite many advances in pre-slaughter handling procedures for broilers’ slaughterhouses, significant failures still occur which cause losses and affecting yield and final product quality, going in the opposite direction to sustainable production. The aim of the study was to test the impact of pre-slaughter procedures of broilers in two different establishments, one in the UK (mechanical catching and stunning by controlled atmosphere) and another in Brazil (manual catching and stunning by electronarcosis). Three parameters were measured: dead on Arrival (DOA), injuries and corticosterone levels (measured by ELISA test) considering three different distances (D1=0-50km; D2=51-150km; D3=151-300km) and two different seasons (summer and winter). Brazilian indices evaluated were overall higher than those in the United Kingdom (UK). DOA in Brazil was higher in the summer, while in the UK it was higher during the winter. While in Brazil, DOA was more influenced by the distance travelled from farm to slaughterhouse in the warmer months, in the UK the indices were higher over longer distance travelled during the colder months. Injury rates remained constant in England and were not affected by the farm-slaughterhouse distance travelled, yet during the winter period it was higher. Both the Brazilian and British corticosterone data showed that broilers transported for short distances were more stressed at the time of slaughter than those transported for long ones. Brazilian corticosterone levels were still significantly higher when compared to the British one. When considering all parameters, the overall welfare in the Brazilian slaughterhouse was considered poor. Yet, in the UK it was considered excellent. Concluding, there is a significant difference between animal welfare indices depending on the kind of management. The contribution of this study is to test and provide benchmark indexes for both establishments thus highlighting where producers and processors could improve by minimize economic losses by and enhancing animal welfare.

Keywords: Chicken; Corticosterone; Injury; Management; Mortality; Stress

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