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Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (2016)

Welfare of cattle at livestock markets in Addis Ababa and Ambo, Ethiopia.

Axberg, Jessica

Titre : Welfare of cattle at livestock markets in Addis Ababa and Ambo, Ethiopia.

Auteur : Axberg, Jessica

Université de soutenance : Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

Grade : Master thesis in Animal Science 2016

In Ethiopia, cattle have an important role in the farming system and are the main source for meat and milk. The cattle production also provides employment opportunities and cash income, which is important, especially for the poor and landless households in Ethiopia. However, there are several constraints limiting the production and ultimately affecting the animal welfare negatively. The goal of this study was to investigate the welfare of cattle at different markets in Ethiopia and the study was based on animal-, resource- and management measures. The assessment was carried out through health recordings of the animals, observations of the management practices at the markets, and interviews with the stakeholders. The study was carried out at three cattle markets, Kera market and Kara market which are located in Addis Ababa and Gudar market which is located in Ambo. The health recordings involved the following parameters ; lameness, body condition scoring, lesions/swelling, cleanliness, hoof health, diarrhea, ocular and nasal discharge. In order to comply with the cattle markets in Ethiopia, the assessments were based on a modified animal welfare protocol. All parameters were scored using a 4-level scale and a total of 94 animals were scored during the recordings. Also, at every observation the surroundings at the markets were observed and several factors were taken in-to account ; weather, number of people and animals present at the market, feed and water sources and if animals were tied or walked loose. Five interviews were conducted and an interview form was outlined in advanced. The questions focused on how far the animals had been transported (by walking or by vehicle), food and water availability (during transport and after arriving at the market) and if there were any sick or injured animals. Questions were also asked regarding the management practices at the markets. The results indicated that body conditions, lesions/ swelling, and cleanliness were the most common welfare problems for the animals. For all animals, 60 % were scored thin or very thin, and 55 % of the animals had minor or moderate signs of lesions/swelling. Approximately 60 % of the animals were minor or moderately dirty to their body, indicating that the cleanliness of the animal was low. Furthermore, lack of feed and water, ineffective management practices, lack of proper handling of animals and lack of education were common problems at the markets in Ethiopia. The results also showed that the animals were often beaten or hit with sticks. Also, the transport of cattle to the markets, either by truck or by walking with the animals, is ineffective and subjects the animals to stressful environments that also increases the risk or injuries. In order to improve the welfare of cattle at the markets there is a need to give the animals proper feed and water which meets their requirements, educate stakeholders, apply more effective management routines. Furthermore, enforce laws and regulations regarding animal welfare, which the authorities control and that non-compliance are followed by sanctions.

Mots Clés  : Ethiopia, welfare, cattle, animal markets, health, management practices


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