Pregnant cow slaughter rule raises ethical and economic concerns in Brazil

Under pressure from the agricultural caucus, Brazil has permitted the slaughter of pregnant cows in the final stage of gestation. The move could cause problems for the country's halal beef exports

New slaughter rule raises economic concerns for Brazil's beef exporters
Nelore cattle farm in Brazil. Photo: Amora Esmkt/Shutterstock

Since the beginning of August, the Brazilian government has authorized the slaughter of pregnant cattle during the final stage of gestation. The measure caused revulsion among animal welfare entities, but there is another aspect to be taken into account: permitting this form of slaughter could have a negative impact on the country’s economic gains from the beef trade.

When farmers sell cattle to slaughterhouses, they are paid in accordance with the animal’s weight: the heavier the cow, the more profitable it is. An in-calf heifer, therefore, costs more, due to the weight of its young and the uterine tissue...

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