Transporters knowledge toward preslaughter logistic chain and occupational risks in Mexico: An integrative view with implications on sheep welfare
Using a survey, we aimed to investigate Mexican transporter knowledge toward preslaughter logistic chain and occupational risks and secondly, to quantify how transport can affect sheep welfare. We used univariate and multivariate statistics based on cluster analysis. According to a cluster analysis, the incidence of risks varied with the association between transport, preslaughter logistic operations and journey distance. Cluster 1 included long-distance journeys (LDJ), cluster 2 medium-distance journeys (MDJ) and cluster 3 short-distance journeys (SDJ). In MDJ, the collection points were quite varied compared with the LDJ and SDJ groups, which were always in the north or central regions, respectively. The LDJ group used pot-belly trailers or 10 ton (t) to 16 t lorries, the MDJ group preferably used 10 t to 16 t lorries, and group SDJ used 3.5 lorries or pickups. Most of the accidents were grouped in SDJ, which also included transporters who smoked most and drank coffee as a countermeasure for sleepiness. The MDJ group loaded more animals at the farm, whereas the other two groups mostly collected animals at assembly centers or auction markets. In addition, night journeys, aversive and violent handling (shouting and the use of electric prod), loading times greater than 2.5 hours can also increase live weight losses and mortality rates. Journeys greater than 8 hours imply a greater probability of suffering an accident on the road. It is critical for everyone engaged in welfare promotion along the preslaughter logistic chain to recognize the links between workers well-being, animal welfare, and the environment, and to know that the way sheep are transported can have broader One-Welfare implications.