Handling and welfare of bovine livestock at local abattoirs in Bangladesh

The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) allows rope casting and the tying of legs for nonhuman animal slaughter without stunning. The handling and welfare of bovine livestock (Bos indicus and Bubalus bubalis) were studied in 8 local abattoirs in 5 districts of Bangladesh. A total of 302 animals were evaluated. At the local abattoirs, approximately 1/3 of the cattle and water buffalo were either emaciated or injured/sick. The size and vigour of the animals determined the casting method. Small and weak animals were cast on concrete floors by lifting a foreleg followed by pushing, or simply by twisting the head of the animal and then binding the legs with rope. Vigorous animals such as buffalo were cast using ropes and human force. Bleeding was slow and flaying was sometimes initiated before the animals were unconscious. Pulling and tearing of the trachea and pouring of water into the exposed trachea shortly after cutting were also observed in some cases. The overall animal handling was unnecessarily rough and the OIE standards were not implemented. Animals are subjected to considerable mistreatment, and there is an urgent need for the training and education of the staff in abattoirs concerning humane slaughtering practices as well as a need to build modern slaughtering plants in Bangladesh. The study is from the Bangladesh Agricultural University, Mymensingh, Bangladesh.

Ahsan M, Hasan B, Algotsson M, Sarenbo S. J Appl Anim Welf Sci 2014 Apr 25 [Epub ahead of print].