The type and importance of animal species that are used for livestock production varies between regions and with the categories of livestock owners. The different species play important roles for food production and income generation.
Efficient livestock production requires good management practices which include appropriate feeding and health care and the selection and development of breeds that are well adapted to the specific production environments.
The need to transport food animals occurs essentially in commercial agriculture and to a lesser extent in the rural or subsistence sector. These animals need to be moved for a number of reasons including marketing, slaughter, re-stocking, from drought areas to better grazing and change of ownership.
Transport of livestock is undoubtedly the most stressful and injurious stage in the chain of operations between farm and slaughterhouse and contributes significantly to poor animal welfare and loss of production.
The most common sources of meat are domesticated animal species such as cattle, pigs, poultry sheep and goats. In some regions other animal species such as camels, horses, ostriches and game animals are also eaten as meat.
For thousands of years, poultry supplied meat and eggs, cattle, sheep and goats provided meat and milk, and pigs provided a source of meat. These species are the main sources of animal protein for humans.
The obligation in the conversion of food animals into edible products and useful by-products is to slaughter the animal in a humane manner and to process the carcass in a hygienic and efficient way.
At the time of slaughter, animals should be healthy and physiologically normal. Slaughter animals should be adequately rested. They should be rested, preferably overnight, particularly if they have travelled for some times over long distances.