Auditing The Welfare of Cattle and Pigs

(Webinar length:  1h 18m)

Overview: 

Effective standards to audit the welfare of cattle and pigs must not be vague.  Words such as proper, sufficient or adequate should be avoided because one person’s idea of adequate conditions may be different from another person’s opinion.  The approach to developing animal welfare standards is similar to the critical control point approach that is used in food safety. The principle is to choose relatively few measures that are indicators of many problems. 

A scoring system was developed for humane slaughter that has five critical control points.  They are: 1) percentage of animals effectively stunned with one application of the stunner; 2) percentage rendered permanently insensible; 3) percentage vocalizing (bellow or squeal) in the stun box; 4) percentage of animals that fall down; and, 5) percentage moved with an electric prod.

All these measures are outcome-based measures.  For a plant to pass an audit, it must receive an acceptable score on all five measures.  Audits should be designed so that things that can be directly observed are the most important.  Assessments of paperwork are less effective because paperwork is easy to falsify.  The use of outcome based numerical scoring also makes it possible to determine if procedures are getting better or getting worse.

Learning objectives:

  • To understand how to write clear animal welfare guidelines
  • To understand the use of critical control points to measure the most important things
  • To understand the numerical measures of animal welfare that make it possible to determine if practices are improving or becoming worse

Who will benefit from this webinar:

  • All meat industry professionals           
  • Quality Assurance & Quality Control           
  • Plant management         
  • Federal & State Regulators         
  • Retailers who buy meat
  • Animal science/behavior professionals
  • Educators and students 

Presenter--Dr. Temple Grandin


Dr. Grandin has published several hundred industry publications, book chapters and technical papers on animal handling plus 63 refereed journal articles in addition to ten books.  Her book, Animals in Translation was a New York Times best seller and her book, Livestock Handling and Transport, now has a third edition.     She was awarded her PhD in Animal Science from the University of Illinois in 1989 and is currently a Professor at Colorado State University where she continues her research while teaching courses on livestock handling and facility design.  She has received numerous awards and was honored in Time Magazine’s 2010, “The 100 Most Influential People in the World.”  Her early life and career in the livestock industry were portrayed in an HBO movie which was awarded seven Emmys and a Golden Globe. (Full Bio)

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