Journal article
Critical control points (CCP) for housing and management of beef cattle

Publication Details
Sundrum, A.
Publication year:
Pages range:
Volume number:
Start page:
End page:

Despite the various risk factors beef cattle are exposed to in the predominant housing conditions, the issue of animal welfare in relation to beef production is seldom discussed in the public. On the other hand, facing a high economical pressure on the production costs, little financial space is left for farmer to markedly increase space allowance and management efforts to improve the status of animal health and welfare of beef cattle.
In Europe, most of the beef cattle are kept on fully slatted floors. This housing system provides an increased risk for the skin, including tail tip, and the claws to be harmed. A high stocking rate increases the health disorders caused by viral, bacterial pathogens or endo- and ectoparasites. Furthermore, possibilities to execute normal behaviour patterns are clearly reduced under confined conditions. However, housing conditions with increased space allowance and bedded lying area can not be considered free of risks relating to animal health, especially claw disorders.
In order to provide a suitable tool for the farmer, control points for animal welfare (behaviour, health and hygiene), and farm management (with economically relevant points) with consideration of the legal requirements have been defined and integrated into a comprehensive Critical Control Point (CCP)-concept. The implementing of the CCP-concept is expected to improve the status of animal health and welfare of beef cattle. The efforts should, however, not only focus on the implementation of critical control points but should be oriented also on the output of the production process in relation to traits of animal health for instance pathological findings of the carcass assessed at the abattoir.
In view of the economical framework conditions it is concluded that the additional efforts that are needed to improve animal health and welfare of beef cattle can only be implemented by farmers, who meet the expectations of an increasing number of consumers with regard to beef produced under appropriate conditions in relation to animal health and welfare and are able to realize premium prices.


Last updated on 2019-24-07 at 08:55