Articles | Volume 64, issue 1
25 May 2021
Review |  | 25 May 2021

Unintended consequences of selection for increased production on the health and welfare of livestock

Este van Marle-Köster and Carina Visser

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Subject: Husbandry | Animal: Ruminants
Polymorphisms of the kappa casein (CSN3) gene and inference of its variants in water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis)
Xinyang Fan, Zifang Zhang, Lihua Qiu, Yongyun Zhang, and Yongwang Miao
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Body composition and venison quality of farmed red deer (Cervus elaphus) hinds reared on grass, papilionaceous or mixed pasture paddocks
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Cited articles

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Arthur, P.: Double muscling in cattle: a review, Aust. J. Agr. Res., 46, 1493–1515, 2004. 
Bayvel, A. C. and Cross, N.: Animal welfare: A complex domestic and International public-policy issue – Who are the key players?, Animal Welfare in Education and Research, 37, 3–12, 2010. 
Berry, D. P. and Evans, R. D.: Genetics of reproductive performance in seasonal calving beef cows and its association with performance traits, J. Anim. Sci., 92, 1412–1422, 2014. 
Berry, D. P., Buckley, F., Dillon, P., Evans, R. D., Rath, M., and Veerkamp, R. F.: Genetic relationships among body condition score, body weight, milk yield, and fertility in dairy cows, J. Dairy Sci., 86, 2193–2204, 2003. 
Short summary
Selection for increased production in intensive and extensive livestock production systems caused animal health and welfare to deteriorate. This is observed in reduced fertility, lameness and claw health in dairy cattle and pigs, resulting in unnecessary culling. In addition, inbreeding has resulted in a number of genetic defects in cows, sheep and pigs. Accurate recording and an increased awareness of welfare traits are necessary to find sustainable solutions.