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Dairy Cattle Euthanasia-Focus Groups Exploring the Perspectives of Brazilians Working in the Dairy Cattle Industry

By V. R. Merenda, E. B. de Oliveira, H. N. Fowler, M. D. Pairis-Garcia

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The objective of this study was to explore perspectives and attitudes about euthanasia specific to the Brazilian dairy cattle industry. Twenty-five Brazilian citizens (13 veterinarians, 4 animal scientists, 3 professors, 3 researchers, 1 dairy owner, and 1 caretaker) participated in one of three focus groups conducted and recorded online (10, 8, and 7 participants per group). Questions regarding euthanasia were posed by a moderator, and the focus group discussions were then transcribed verbatim for analysis. After the initial data analysis, themes were evaluated and collapsed into three major categories: Euthanasia Training and Farm and Human Components. A complex interconnection between the three main themes and multiple subthemes specific to dairy cattle euthanasia was also revealed. The lack of nationally recognized euthanasia guidelines for dairy cattle paired with ineffective and inaccessible euthanasia tools makes it difficult for dairy veterinarians to implement humane protocols for on-farm euthanasia. In addition, logistical factors, particularly, the financial cost of euthanasia and the human-animal bond, play a role in the failure to perform euthanasia when warranted. Future studies should focus on the development of science-based standards and producer training to improve the consistency of on-farm euthanasia in Brazilian dairy operations.

Publication Title Animals (Basel)
Volume 12
Issue 4
ISBN/ISSN 2076-2615 (Print)2076-2615
DOI 10.3390/ani12040409
Author Address Department of Population Health and Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27606, USA.Department of Population Health and Reproduction, College of Veterinary Medicine, UC Davis, Tulare, CA 93274, USA.College of Veterinary Medicine, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011, USA.
Additional Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Analysis
  2. Animal welfare
  3. Cattle
  4. Euthanasia
  5. Focus Groups
  6. open access
  1. open access