Welfare perceptions on slaughter of pregnant animals
The scientists agreed that they don’t in the first two thirds of gestation by the relevant physical and neurological structures develop only during the last part of gestation.
The experts estimated the eventuality that fetuses go through pain during the accurate third of gestation. They concluded that the most probable scheme is that they don’t due to the perseverance of a result of inhibitory mechanisms in the body of the fetus.
The opinion proposes rational measures for decrease the number of pregnant animals slaughtered. According to EFSA expert judgement, on average 3% of dairy cows, 1.5 % of beef cattle, 0.5% of pigs, 0.8% sheep and 0.2% of goats in the EU are slaughtered round the last third of gestation. Reasons may diverge – from farmers not being aware that animals are pregnant, to considerations linked to animal health and welfare or economic reasons.
There is provisional information on this subject and EFSA’s scientific opinion, which is based on expert judgement, offers insights that can be used by risk managers across the EU. Ultimately, this field contributes to the alteration of animal welfare.
This scientific opinion follows a push from Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden.