The influence of source, sex class and pre-slaughter ...



Title The influence of source, sex class and pre-slaughter handling on the bruising of cattle at two slaughterhouses
Author(s) A. M. Jarvis, L. Selkirk, M. S. Cockram
Journal Livestock Production Science
Date 1995
Volume 43
Issue 3
Start page 215
End page 224
Abstract This study quantified potentially traumatic events during handling (350 groups; n=3296), and the effect of source and sex class on the occurrence of carcass bruising of cattle (339 groups; n=3270) at 2 commercial slaughterhouses. A mean of 0.13 and 0.97 potentially traumatic events per animal occurred during unloading and pre-stunning handling, respectively, predominantly hitting structures and gates. Use of driving instruments occurred at a rate of 1.4 contacts per animal during pre-stunning handling. Over 97% of carcasses observed were bruised. Cattle from markets had more bruises (median 5.8, n groups=103) than did cattle transported to slaughter direct from farms (median 5.0, n groups=236). Sex class had a significant effect on the occurrence of potentially traumatic events and bruising, potentially traumatic events occurred more in groups of mixed sexes (steers and heifers) than in groups of steers and heifers only. There were significant correlations between the occurrence of events during pre-slaughter handling and bruising to the rib (rs 0.473) and butt (rs 0.219). There were also significant correlations between the use of driving instruments and bruising on the forequarter (rs 0.160), butt (rs 0.294), back (rs 0.220) and rib (rs 0.148). Some differences between the slaughterhouses in the occurrence of events and bruising were probably due to the design of facilities and the handling procedures.

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