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Livestock referred to in this manual are animals from which meat is produced. Types of food animals vary in different parts of the world. This booklet will refer mainly to cattle, goats, sheep, pigs, poultry and ostriches. Other slaughter animals of relevance in particular in developing countries are buffaloes, camels and rabbits. The transformation of slaughter animals into meat is a chain of events including handling and loading on the farm, transport to the market, pens or slaughterhouse, off-loading and holding and finally slaughter. During these procedures poor operational techniques and facilities will lead to unnecessary suffering, injury and loss of production.

There are many advantages to improving conditions for livestock destined for slaughter. These will have the benefit of improvements in productivity, animal welfare and personnel safety.

Increased production through humane treatment of slaughter animals can be achieved, for example, through:

· reduced carcass damage and waste and higher value due to less bruising and injury;
· decreased mortality;
· improved quality of meat by reducing animal stress;
· increased quality and value of hides and skins.
Improving animal welfare is necessary to reduce suffering, in line with requirements of Governments, NGOs, and consumers, who are becoming more concerned with welfare of food animals. Better conditions of livestock operations will also improve safety of workers in the livestock and meat industry.

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