J Dairy Sci 2021 May 10. Epub 2021 May 10.
Animal Welfare Science Centre, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria 3052, Australia; Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences, The University of Melbourne, Werribee, Victoria 3030, Australia.
Nonreplacement dairy calves, or bobby calves, are fasted and transported to abattoirs from as young as 5 d of age in Australia. The aims of this cross-sectional observational study were (1) to assess the welfare status, as measured by blood parameters, of bobby calves in the commercial supply chain after transport and lairage, and (2) to assess whether distance and duration of transport are risk factors for poor bobby calf welfare, as measured by blood parameters. We hypothesized that bobby calves transported greater distances would be more likely to show evidence of compromised welfare, as measured by blood indicators of hydration, energy status, and muscle fatigue or damage. Read More