Bruising and biochemical measures of stress, ...

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Title Bruising and biochemical measures of stress, dehydration and injury determined at slaughter in sheep transported from farms or markets
Author(s) A. M. Jarvis, M. S. Cockram, I. M. McGilp
Journal British Veterinary Journal
Date 1996
Volume 152
Issue 6
Start page 719
End page 722
Abstract Biochemical measurements of stress and injury were determined in 112 groups of sheep arriving at a commercial abattoir either from farms (71 groups, n=1829), local markets (21 groups, n=2125) or distant markets (20 groups, n=3145). Sheep from farms had significantly fewer bruises (0.08/sheep) than those from local markets (0.20) and sheep from distant markets (0.37). Sheep from distant markets had a significantly greater plasma creatine kinase activity compared with the other 2 groups, suggesting a greater degree of muscle damage. There was no effect of source on the packed cell volume, the plasma concentration of Β-hydroxybutyrate and total protein. Sheep from distant markets had a significantly greater plasma osmolality than those from farms and local markets. Sheep from local markets had a significantly greater plasma cortisol concentration than those from farms. It is suggested that improvements in handling and slaughter near the place of origin can reduce the risk of injury and dehydration.

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