A descriptive study of the clinical condition of cull dairy cows before transport to slaughter

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Despite its high relevance for fitness for transport, the clinical condition of cull dairy cows before they are sent to slaughter has received very little scientific attention. Here, we report descriptive clinical data from cull Danish dairy cows, examined on-farm in the hours before transport to slaughter. A total of 411 cows, with a median parity of 3 (range: 1–10), from 20 Danish dairy herds, and slaughtered over a 1 year period, were included in the study. Almost 75% of the cows deviated from normal in at least one clinical measure, 31% were lame, 20% showed signs of mastitis and 22% had wounds, of which none were considered severe. Only few of the cows showed signs leading to direct decision of being unfit for transport, but many of them could be considered ‘slightly ill or injured’ as defined in the European Regulation, thus raising concern for the thresholds for fitness for transport in these animals.

Original languageEnglish
JournalLivestock Science
Pages (from-to)108-113
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Research areas

  • Clinical condition, Dairy cow, Slaughter, Transport

ID: 209679436