A comparison of the welfare and meat quality of veal ...
|Title||A comparison of the welfare and meat quality of veal calves slaughtered on the farm with those subjected to transportation and lairage|
|Author(s)||P. N. Grigor, M. S. Cockram, W. B. Steele, J. McIntyre, C. L. Williams, I. E. Leushuis, C. G. Reenen|
|Journal||Livestock Production Science|
|Abstract||Comparisons were made of the behaviour, physiology and meat quality of 24-week-old male veal calves (mean live weight 234 kg) that were slaughtered either at the veal unit (the control group) or following 3 h transportation at space allowances of either 0.7 or 0.95 m2 calf-1 and 1.5 h of lairage. Compared with nontransported calves, transported calves had a greater heart rate during the journey and during lairage; greater plasma cortisol concentration immediately after the journey, but not after 1.5 h of lairage; and greater plasma creatine kinase activity immediately after the journey and after 1.5 h of lairage. The transported calves did not lie down during the journey. There was no effect of space allowance on either the heart rate or frequency of potentially traumatic events during the journey or the plasma cortisol concentration and plasma creatine kinase activity sampled after the journey. There was no effect of transport on either carcase bruising or muscle pH 24 h after slaughter. Although compared with 'on-farm' slaughter, the transport and handling associated with the journey to the slaughterhouse were stressful to the calves; there were no adverse effects of transport on either carcase bruising or meat quality.|
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