Öz The present work aimed to review the state of sheep welfare in Bulgaria during transportation and slaughter and to evaluate its relationship with slaughter carcass and meat quality. Over the last few years, animal welfare has become increasingly important. Normative documents related to welfare during rearing, transport, and slaughter of animals have been developed and promulgated. A major percentage of these animals are reared for meat production, but attempts to minimize stress and pain during transport and slaughter should be made. Stress reduction and pain control improve animal welfare and also impact carcass and meat quality. This overview demonstrates that improper preslaughter handling deteriorates meat quality and increases stress levels in animals. Consumers are increasingly concerned about meat quality and are even ready to pay more to purchase products of higher quality. One of the main ways for improvement of meat quality is to comply with animal welfare standards. This review focuses on some EU countries such as Bulgaria, taking interest in proper preslaughter handling of sheep due to its beneficial effects on meat and carcass qualities. In addition, this review highlights the factors to consider in sheep handling and their effect on meat and carcass quality.
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