Distress in Animals: Is it Fear, Pain or Physical Stress?

Distressed Animal

Almost 20 years after this paper was published, the debate continues over whether large animals like cattle and horses suffer from pain like humans. The issue is complicated because when cattle or horses suffer injury, they often hide the pain. Hiding pain is a behavior that evolved to protect animals from predators during times of injury or sickness. This article argues that rats, cats, dogs, horses, and cattle can suffer from long-term pain chronic pain. All the same, when assessing suffering, fear stress should be considered crucial as suffering induced by pain. Both fear and pain can cause suffering.

The Importance of Non-Slip Floors for Cattle

Grooved concrete for cattle handling

Falling on Concrete Causes “Un-seen” injuries in Cattle “Falls” on slippery floors are criteria measured during Humane Handling Audits in U.S. and E.U. Slaughterhouses. According to the AMI (American Meat Institute) Guidelines, 1% or fewer falls where the body touches the ground are acceptable, more than 1% is not OK, and 5% or more indicates […]

Understanding Tempermental Differences in Cattle


Temperament is a heritable pattern of thinking, emotion, motivation, and behavior influenced by experience. In cattle, there are practical and valuable measures available to determine temperament. Record the measurements discussed here while performing routine handling. When making breeding or culling decisions, repeat these measures three times for accuracy. Temperament is stable over time, so more […]