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Sunday, December 04, 2022

Why animal welfare improves the quality of the meat we eat

There are several investigations that support that the meat of animals treated using good practices is of higher quality than those that have suffered more harmful methods. One of the latest studies dates back to last year, when researchers from Wageningen University in the Netherlands concluded that animal emotions influenced Quality of his meat.

Specifically, these scientists relied on the existence of biomarkers such as oxytocin and dopamine, which are different from the level of cortisol, a hormone that is released in response to stress. Happy animals that suffer less stress are more productive and have higher meat quality than those that are subjected to more stress, the researchers say.

Certainly, an argument by the Ministry of Consumption when promoting the royal decree that installed security cameras in slaughterhouses is based on this thesis.

In memory of the regulatory impact analysis of the royal decree law, the government states that “the slaughterhouse seems to have a moment of permanence special stress for animals” and this “can lead to the appearance of metabolic disorders and lesions in the live animal, which once slaughtered may affect the quality of its meat”. In this sense, he explains, Better management of animals will reduce their stress and improve their health. This will also have a positive impact on the economy of farmers and slaughterhouse managers “because less meat will be confiscated and it will be of better quality.”

According to a report by Bureau Veritas, a company specializing in certification, inspection and analysis in the agri-food and livestock sector, when animals experience negative emotions such as fear or stress prior to slaughter, there is a breakdown of muscle glycogen that happens in return. Leads to a rapid drop in pH, causing your meat to spoil pale and softwith little flavor.

Similarly, the above report continues, if this decline in muscle glycogen is prolonged at the time of transport and handling of the animal, the production of lactic acid in the meat is reduced, resulting in an increase in pH. In these cases the meat is dark, tough and dry of low quality.

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