Journal article

Relationships between handling, behaviour and stress in lambs at abattoirs

PH Hemsworth, M Rice, S Borg, LE Edwards, EN Ponnampalam, GJ Coleman

animal | CAMBRIDGE UNIV PRESS | Published : 2019


There is community concern about the treatment of farm animals post-farm gate, particularly animal transport and slaughter. Relationships between lamb behavioural and physiological variables on farm, stockperson, dog and lamb behavioural variables pre-slaughter and plasma cortisol, glucose and lactate in lambs post-slaughter were studied in 400 lambs. The lambs were observed in three behavioural tests, novel arena, flight distance to a human and temperament tests, before transport for slaughter. Closed-circuit television video footage was used to record stockperson, dog and lamb behaviour immediately before slaughter. Blood samples for cortisol, glucose and lactate analyses were collected on..

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Funding Acknowledgements

The research was funded by the Australian Meat Processing Corporation. The Hamilton Research Centre (Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources) is also acknowledged for providing lambs and facilities to undertake the on-farm research activities.