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.

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Available from: Carmen Gallo, Jul 05, 2015
    • "In relation to the effects of transport duration on bruising, most studies have registered bruises on the carcasses of cattle (Strappini et al., 2009, 2010 and 2012; Huertas et al., 2010; Romero et al., 2013), sheep (Carter and Gallo, 2008; Tarumán and Gallo, 2008; Tarumán, 2013) or llamas (Mamani-Linares and Gallo, 2014) at the end of the process (at slaughter), therefore it was not possible to distinguish if bruises had occurred on farm, during transport or at the slaughterhouse. In order to try to distinguish exactly where bruises originate we followed the whole process of loading, transport, unloading, lairage and stunning of culled dairy cows using direct continuous observation and videos (Strappini et al., 2013). "
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    ABSTRACT: Animals destined for meat production are usually exposed to many stressful conditions during production and particularly during preslaughter operations. Handling animals on farm, loading into and unloading from vehicles, transportation, passing through livestock markets, fasting, lairage and stunning can all affect their welfare. How badly welfare can be affected will depend on both the intrinsic factors of the specific type of animal involved and the extrinsic factors of the environment where those animals live or are being handled, including the animal handlers. In South America (SA), it has been part of a strategy for improving animal welfare (AW) to address not only ethical aspects, but to emphasize the close relationship existing between handling ruminants preslaughter and the quantity and quality of the meat they produce. This has resulted not only in improvements in AW, but has also brought economic rewards to producers which in turn can lead to higher incomes for them and hence better human welfare. For producers with a high number of animals, considering AW during production and preslaughter operations can determine the possibility of exporting and/or getting better prices for their products. At smallfarmer level, particularly in some less developed countries, where human welfare is impaired, using this strategy together with education has also been relevant. It is important that education and training in AW are done not only considering global knowledge, but also including specific geographical and climatic characteristics of each country and the cultural, religious and socio-economical characteristics of its people; therefore, research within the context of each country or region becomes relevant. The aim of this review was to show the results of research dealing with AW of ruminant livestock in Chile and some other SA countries. Some of the main problems encountered are related to lack of proper infrastructure to handle animals; long distance transport with high stocking densities in the larger countries; long fasting times due to animals passing through livestock markets and dealers; bad handling of animals by untrained personnel in these and other premises; and finally the lack of knowledge and skills by operators in charge of stunning procedures. Interventions at these stages have considered training animal handlers and transporters by showing them the consequences of bad handling with audiovisual material prepared on site. Research results have helped to improve AW and support the development of new legislation or to make changes in the existent legislation related to AW.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2015 · animal
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    • "Rural Develop. 2014, vol 7, 22-30: (Gregory, 2008; Strappini et al., 2009 "
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    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.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2014
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    • "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. "
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    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.
    Full-text · Article · May 2014 · Poultry Science
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