Impact of sea transport on animal welfare: Assessing the welfare and feeding behaviour of horned and polled sheep and cattle during export
Stockman, C.A. and Barnes, A.L. (2008) Impact of sea transport on animal welfare: Assessing the welfare and feeding behaviour of horned and polled sheep and cattle during export. In: 2008 RSPCA Australia Scientific Seminar, 26 February, Canberra, Australia
The social and feeding behaviours of sheep and cattle segregated according to whether they had horns were investigated during live shipment, to determine the effects of mixing animals with and without horns within specification. Two voyages, one each of Merino sheep and Bos indicus-cross cattle, were monitored using video surveillance and retrospective analysis of footage from specific times to determine the number of behavioural interactions and feeding events within two pens each of polled, horned (up to one full curl in sheep or 12cm in cattle), and mixed polled and horned animals. Concurrently, shipboard personnel recorded behaviour, daily feed intake, daily injury, death and disease of these animals. There was no evidence from the video footage that mixing polled and horned animals within specification resulted in negative health or behaviour outcomes for these animals. This was also the conclusion from the real-time observations made by shipboard personnel, although there were some differences in absolute number of interactions recorded by the two methods. Further observational studies of similar design were conducted on 15 short haul cattle voyages with shipboard personnel recording behaviour, daily feed intake, injury and death of animals in the experimental pens. Eleven of these voyages yielded usable data for analysis, and there was no indication from the records of any difference between experimental pens.
|Publication Type:||Conference Paper|
|Murdoch Affiliation:||School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences|
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