agriculture, Holly Spangler's 30 Day Blog Challenge

Animal Welfare: Castration

The castration of many male livestock is popular all over the globe, usually for market reasons. First of all, most people do not realize how farmers decide which males get castrated and which return to the herd for breeding. The males which they think could give the most back to the herd and produce the most quality for the upcoming generations are the ones that do not get sterilized. To some it may seem that these practices are cruel and inhumane; however, it is because these practices have been implemented that you get to have that cheeseburger for lunch.

Studies have shown that although there are a considerable amount of drawbacks, castration inflicts optimal benefits as well. The animal is inflicted with initial pain, and in result of the body change, faces a period of slow growth rate and feed efficiency. Castration is proved to lower aggressiveness of male species, experts also say this is because “sexual activity by lowering testosterone levels”(alma.org). Additionally, castrating “modifies carcass characteristics by decreasing the number of animals with a high muscle pH Intact male cattle (bulls) tend to produce lower quality grade, less consistent, less marbled, and less tender meat. In addition, carcasses from bulls command lower prices at market when compared with carcasses from steers”(alma.org).

Castration, in my opinion at least, is not barbaric. There are three methods: physical, chemical, and hormonal. All three of which inflict acute pain. After considering the benefits, I believe castration to be harmless, and in many ways beneficial.

Resources:

https://www.avma.org/KB/Resources/LiteratureReviews/Pages/castration-cattle-bgnd.aspx

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