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CHAPTER 1: Animal stress and pain

Scientific research has shown that warm-blooded animals (this includes livestock) feel pain and the emotion of fear. In particular mammals, including food animals of this group, have brain structures that enable them to feel fear and suffering from pain, and it is likely that they suffer pain in the same way as humans. Fear and pain are very strong causes of stress in livestock and stress affects the quality of meat obtained from this livestock. Pain is usually the effect of injury and suffering, which also affects the quality and value of meat from affected animals.

When animals are subjected to unusual conditions or circumstances due to the wilful actions of people, it is people’s moral responsibility to ensure that the welfare of these animals is cared for and that they do not suffer unnecessary discomfort, stress or injury.

Efficient, experienced and quiet handling of livestock, using recommended techniques and facilities, as well as taking measures to eliminate pain and accidental injury, will reduce stress in the animals and prevent quality deficiencies in meat and by-products.

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