Acta Vet. Brno 2024, 93: 77-85

Animal welfare in terms of lung health in cattle, pigs, sheep and goats assessed at slaughter

Lenka Válková1, Eva Voslářová1, Francesca Conte2, Vladimír Večerek1

1University of Veterinary Sciences Brno, Faculty of Veterinary Hygiene and Ecology, Department of Animal Protection and Welfare and Veterinary Public Health, Brno, Czech Republic
2University of Messina, Department of Veterinary Sciences, Messina, Italy

Received May 12, 2023
Accepted February 19, 2024

Lung health has a significant impact on the well-being of farm animals. In this study, the incidence of lung damage in cattle, pigs, sheep and goats was monitored in animals slaughtered in slaughterhouses in the Czech Republic between 2010 and 2021. In fattened animals (bulls, finisher pigs, lambs and kids), the incidence of lung damage was statistically significantly the highest in finisher pigs (39.08%) followed by lambs (25.2%), bulls (13.1%) and kids (6.4%). In adult animals (cows, sows, ewes and does), the incidence of lung damage was significantly the highest in ewes (39.5%), followed by cows (36.4%), sows (23.7%) and does (21.5%). For chronic lung damage, the results showed significantly the highest incidence in finisher pigs (37.2%) and young culled from farms (calves 34.0%, piglets 31.3%). For acute lung damage, the results showed significantly higher incidence in piglets (27.4%) and calves (9.7%) compared to other categories of slaughtered animals. In cows and sows, the findings ranged approximately between 6–8%, and did not exceed 2% in the other categories. For parasitic lung damage, significantly the highest findings were found in ewes (25.8%) followed by lambs (17.1%), does (5.8%) and kids (1.0%). The incidence of parasitic lung damage in cattle and pigs did not exceed 0.05%. The differences between chronic, acute and parasitic findings in each category of animals were significant. The findings of lung damage illustrate the fact that the welfare of slaughter animals is inadequate and should be increased.


This study was supported by ITA VETUNI (Project No. 2022ITA21).


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