Brazil is the world largest meat exporter and one of the most recent demands of the import market is directed towards animal welfare. Codes, norms and legislations used in Brazil are out of date, and in most cases those adopted for both poultry and swine production are based on international standards to meet trade requirements. This research aimed to study and describe an overall scenario of the standards, norms and legislations for animal welfare items applied to broiler and swine production: rearing, handling and transportation. The critical points of these items were identified in accordance to standards and current literature on animal welfare issues, effective on January 2008. The comparison was based on given scores varying from 1-5 (very bad to very good) as function of the existence of standard norms and legislations for each country and/or economic block, and for each type of demand, as well as the level of adoption by producers. When compared to counterparts Brazil detained the lowest score for all types of demands, and its mean score of norms is lower (p < 0.05). For both poultry and swine production the European Union provides detailed information to producers, followed by Australia and United States. Exception is made to standards in moving or transporting swine within the farm. Brazilian legislation for poultry production presents a general insufficiency of 58%, while in swine production the highest deficit is in transportation. There is a need to invest in updating animal welfare standards, norms and legislation in the country for maintaining its international competitiveness.
animal production; rearing; transportation; environment; norms