Animal welfare is the proper treatment of animals in order to provide them with an environment in which they are in good welfare conditions, are healthy, comfortable, well fed when required, safe; can express innate forms of behavior and if they do not suffer unpleasant sensations of pain, fear or distress; and that they are handled and slaughtered in a compassionate manner. The concept of animal welfare refers to the state of the animal. The way an animal is treated is referred to by other terms such as animal care, or compassionate treatment. (Adapted freely from document OIE Chapter 7.1)
Welfare starts from loading and transport from the farm to the time of slaughter. Animals are handled without the use of blunt instruments or electric shocks. Floors are slip-resistant to prevent falls, wall surfaces are smooth to prevent scratches, drinking water is available, and the pens are shaded. Prior to slaughter, the cattle are rendered unconscious through a procedure that takes fractions of a second. This state is corroborated before proceeding to slaughter.