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Metal surfaces for sheep and cattle - MH0131

The public needs to be confident and assured that animals are handled humanely when they are presented for slaughter. There are concerns that some handling procedures are unduly robust because of the design and condition of the facilities. In the past there have been problems with injuries from falls, and bruising from contact with partitions and other structures. Animals passing over slippery floor surfaces are particularly at risk. We need to address these problems by specifying which types of surfaces are most prone to causing slips or falls, and by developing safer alternatives.

Aims: This project aims at reducing falls and injuries in stock by evaluating different surfaces used in cattle and sheep facilities and equipment, and promoting the better alternatives, without influencing or favouring any sector of the manufacturing industry.

Policy relevance: DEFRA requires an independent assessment of floor surfaces and guidance on how to reduce slips and falls in livestock equipment and facilities, and in particular in abattoirs.

Outcomes: This project will compare the main types of surface material and surface pattern used in the floors of livestock areas in abattoirs, in terms of slipping in cattle and sheep. From this we will be able to
·recommend one or more designs or materials as appropriate surfaces for particular applications
·provide advice on which novel non-slip materials wear well when used as flooring for sheep or cattle
·give some recommendations or advice on noise control, surface reflectance, and ease of cleaning
·provide support to DEFRA in the advice it passes on to abattoirs
Project Documents
• EVID4 - Final project report : MH0131 Final Report   (1201k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2005

To: 2009

Cost: £345,461
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Royal Veterinary College
Animal Welfare              
Plants and Animals              
Fields of Study
Animal Welfare