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Review article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Cattle welfare aspects of production systems in the tropics

Hernandez, Adalinda; Galina, Carlos S.; Geffroy, Mariana; Jung, Jens; Westin, Rebecka; Berg, Charlotte

Abstract

There is a growing demand for animal products, especially food for human consumption, including in developing countries in tropical regions of the world. Simultaneously, animal welfare and a reduced environmental impact are increasingly important to modern consumers and non-consumers. Increased efficiency of existing animal production systems is key to meeting the growing demand of animal products without ignoring societal concerns. Adequate animal welfare can play an important role in improving production and addressing consumer demands. This review describes the main cattle production systems in the tropics and considers how they meet the need for transparent animal welfare conditions. Several challenges to overcome are highlighted, including lack of information about the real cattle welfare status in the tropics. Adequate assessment protocols and improvements in animal nutrition, infrastructure, animal health and farming-related education need special attention in the region. Better animal welfare could improve tropical animal production in terms of productivity, and increase the volume of meat and milk delivered. It could also guarantee consumer acceptance and future consumption of animal products, secure incomes, alleviate poverty and reduce migration to urban areas and countryside abandonment.

Keywords

animal welfare; beef; Bos indicus; cow; dairy; developing countries; subsistence farming; welfare assessment

Published in

Animal Production Science
2022, Volume: 62, number: 13, pages: 1203-1218
Publisher: CSIRO PUBLISHING