Origin and assessment of bruises in beef cattle at slaughter

1Adaptation Physiology Group, Wageningen University, PO Box 338, 6700 AH, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
animal (Impact Factor: 1.84). 05/2009; 3(5):728-36. DOI: 10.1017/S1751731109004091
Source: PubMed


Studies of bruises, as detected on carcasses at the slaughterhouse, may provide useful information about the traumatic situations the animals endure during the pre-slaughter period. In this paper, we review scientific data on the prevalence, risk factors and estimation of the age of bruises in beef cattle. Risk factors such as animal characteristics, transport conditions, stocking density, livestock auction and handling of the animals are discussed. Investigation of the age of bruises could provide information on when in the meat chain bruises occur and, could help to pinpoint where preventive measures should be taken, from the stage of collecting the animals on the farm until slaughter. We review the methods available to assess the age of the bruises; data on human forensic research are also included. The feasibility to identify traumatic episodes during the pre-slaughter period, in order to improve animal welfare is discussed.

Download full-text


Available from: Carmen Gallo, Jul 05, 2015
  • Source
    • "Rural Develop. 2014, vol 7, 22-30: www.sasas.co.za/aahrd/ (Gregory, 2008; Strappini et al., 2009 "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The objective of this study was to determine the effect of breed, gender and age on Stress-related behaviour (AB) of sheep at slaughter, bleed-out times (BT) during exsanguination, and the quality of mutton. The behaviour of 90 castrates and 110 ewes of different age categories (<10months, 11-12 months, >12 months) was observed during three stages of slaughter, at a commercial abattoir. AB was not affected by breed, gender and age. BT was recorded as time intervals between the start of blood flow and the time the flow changed from a constant stream into drips. Ninety meat samples were obtained to measure meat colour, pH24, temperature24, cooking loss, and tenderness. Correlations between bleeding times and meat quality variables were also determined. Ewes had longer (68.5±1.48 s) bleed-out times than castrates (55.2±1.70s). Heavier sheep had longer bleeding times than the lighter ones (r=0.149). Cooking loss (CL) was higher in meat from older sheep and in meat from ewes than from younger sheep and castrates, respectively. Meat from the Dorper breed had the highest CL (39.6±1.38 %) and the lowest Warner Bratzler Shear Force (WBSF) (14.3±3.66 N). Meat from the Merino breed had the highest WBSF (33.9±3.24 N). pH24 was positively correlated to a* and b* colour ordinates. It can therefore be concluded that breed, gender and age had no effect on AB, while these factors affected some quality variables of mutton. Only gender had an effect on bleed-out times. Bleed-out times correlate with animal weight but poorly with the meat quality variables.
  • Source
    • "Bruises were visually assessed by a single observer (the first author) in terms of the size and color (slight, medium, and heavy), and location (neck, fore-chest, ribs, back, thigh, leg, foot, wing, and tail area) based on a scale adopted from the Australian Carcass Bruises Scoring System (Anderson, 1978). Underlying tissue bruises were not considered (Strappini et al., 2009) because monitoring was done on live birds. Severity and location of feather losses (neck, fore-chest, ribs, back, thigh, foot, wing, and tail area), and swollen foot/wing problems were assessed with size and location of the damage. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Ostrich (Struthio camelus) production is a relatively young industry and there has been little research on ostrich welfare during pretransport handling and the transportation process. A heavy body with a high center of gravity makes ostriches' handling and transportation problems different from other livestock. The main objective of this study was to investigate the effects of the pretransport holding time duration on ostrich behavior and physiological responses. A second objective was to identify and validate behavioral indicator(s) that could be used to identify stressed birds during pretransport handling. Prior to shipping, twenty-four 2.5-yr-old ostriches were moved into a holding pen. Birds were then individually restrained, hooded, and walked from the holding pen (approximately 12 min/bird) to a sampling pen (visually isolated from the holding pen) where they were weighed and a 10-mL blood sample obtained. A second blood sample was taken from each bird after a 1,100-km transportation. Blood samples were analyzed for concentrations of blood metabolites, enzymes, corticosterone, and white blood cell and differential counts. Behavioral responses and physical damages of ostriches were also recorded before and after transport. Results indicated that birds that spent longer time in the pretransport holding pen had higher pretransport plasma concentrations of aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, sodium, and packed cell volume. Immobile sitting behavior, observed in 5 out of the last 11 birds handled, was positively correlated with higher pretransport handling stress, higher posttransport aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, creatine phosphokinase, and glucose concentrations, and transport losses. Knowledge of pretransport handling impacts on ostrich stress and availability of behavioral indicators (e.g., immobile sitting response) could be used to improve handing processes, thereby decreasing potential weight loss, injury, and mortality.
    Poultry Science 05/2014; 93(5):1137-48. DOI:10.3382/ps.2013-03478 · 1.67 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "Bruises can occur at any point of the meat chain, due to inappropriate handling of the animal during the pre-slaughter period. Bruises are indicative of violence and pain suffered by the animals which is related to poor welfare conditions during pre-slaughter period (Strappini et al 2009). Moreover, bruises in bovine carcasses affect the quality of the carcass and the meat. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The objective of the current study was to assess the effects of pre-slaughter operations in llamas on physiological (concentrations of some blood constituents) and carcass quality (pH and bruises) indicators under commercial conditions. Thirty llamas raised on pasture, 18-24 months old and average live weight of 54.2 +/- 6.4 kg were transported on a single 3 h journey in one batch to the slaughterhouse. Blood samples were taken on farm one hour before loading, after unloading, after lairage (18 h) and during exsanguination to measure the concentrations of various stress-related variables. Mean values for the blood variables showed a significant rise (P < 0.05) in the concentration of cortisol immediately after transport (16.9 ng/mL), as well as CK activity after lairage (528.4 UI/L): beta-hydroxybutyrate concentration showed similar mean values for the different sampling times. A total of 19 bruises were found on 9 of the carcasses. The backs (loin) of carcasses had more bruises (57.89%), followed by thorax (21.05%). Irregularly shaped bruises were the most frequent (81.25%), followed by circular bruises (18.75%). It was concluded that pre-slaughter handling of llamas under these commercial conditions produced physiological changes similar to those in other species, which fall within acceptable limits for their welfare; however stress could be reduced and adverse effects like bruises could be minimized by designing proper facilities, by following OIE recommendations on the welfare of animals during stunning and by training of personnel handling llamas all along the Bolivian meat chain.
    Archivos de Medicina Veterinaria 12/2013; 46(3):463-469. DOI:10.4067/S0301-732X2014000300018 · 0.31 Impact Factor
Show more