SPCA advocates for breeding practices that protect the welfare of breeding animals and offspring.
SPCA is concerned with the welfare of breeding animals because of the breeding practices that may cause negative welfare impacts. SPCA opposes the use of the Blockey test to prove bulls’ reproductive performance.
If artificial insemination is performed, SPCA supports the practice of cervical artificial insemination by trained operators to surgical artificial insemination, as surgical artificial insemination is a more invasive procedure. We are concerned with the stage of maturity at which female animals are first bred, and demands placed on mothers for the number of offspring they produce throughout their lifetime and the responsible choice of source of semen. SPCA advocates for limits placed on the age of first and last breeding and number of offspring for female animals. SPCA opposes the breeding of beef cattle herds that require high levels of intervention (e.g. calving assistance and caesarean sections) at parturition due to breed specific traits (i.e. high birth weights, disproportionate calf to mother size).
SPCA opposes the selection of animals for accelerated growth rates and other enhanced production traits where this may result in the inhibition of normal activity, cause metabolic or skeletal defects, chronic lameness and pain, increased mortality or other welfare problems.
Breeding animals must be able to maintain normal mobility and physical health and express normal behaviour without feed restrictions.
SPCA is concerned about the production of unwanted offspring, including male chicks and male dairy calves.
Our organisation supports the use of sexed semen and supports its use, provided it is used via cervical artificial insemination and not embryo transfer. SPCA supports research and development into the commercial implementation of egg sexing technologies.
(see Bobby/Young Calves from Dairy Industry for more details)