Effect of source of cattle and distance transported to a commercial slaughter facility on carcass bruises in mature beef cows

D. E. Hoffman From the Food Animal Health and Management Center, College of Veterinary Medicine (Hoffman, Spire), Department of Statistics, College of Arts and Sciences (Schwenke), and Department of Animal Sciences and Industry, College of Agriculture (Unruh), Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506.

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 DVM, MS
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M. F. Spire From the Food Animal Health and Management Center, College of Veterinary Medicine (Hoffman, Spire), Department of Statistics, College of Arts and Sciences (Schwenke), and Department of Animal Sciences and Industry, College of Agriculture (Unruh), Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506.

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J. R. Schwenke From the Food Animal Health and Management Center, College of Veterinary Medicine (Hoffman, Spire), Department of Statistics, College of Arts and Sciences (Schwenke), and Department of Animal Sciences and Industry, College of Agriculture (Unruh), Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506.

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J. A. Unruh From the Food Animal Health and Management Center, College of Veterinary Medicine (Hoffman, Spire), Department of Statistics, College of Arts and Sciences (Schwenke), and Department of Animal Sciences and Industry, College of Agriculture (Unruh), Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506.

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Objective

To determine the effect of source of cattle and distance cattle were transported to a commercial slaughter facility on prevalence and severity of carcass bruises in mature beef cows.

Design

Epidemiologic investigation.

Sample Population

Carcasses from 3,955 beef cows from 11 states assembled in 89 procurement lots.

Procedure

Each carcass was scored for bruise severity and location. Source of cattle was categorized. Distance from source to slaughter facility was determined. An ANCOVA was used to determine effects of variables on carcass bruises.

Results

Mature beef cows marketed through livestock auctions conducting first-point testing for brucellosis, especially when transported longer distances (> 325 km) to slaughter facilities, had a greater number and severity of carcass bruises than cows originating from ranches or livestock auctions not conducting first-point testing. There was an increase in number of rib bruises in cows originating from livestock auctions not conducting first-point testing. Prevalence and severity of bruises were not significantly affected by transportation distance between cows originating from auctions not conducting first-point testing and cows originating from ranches.

Clinical Implications

A strong association existed between handling for brucellosis testing prior to sale for slaughter and distance transported to slaughter facility with carcass bruises in mature beef cows. Bruises are major quality defects that decrease carcass value and slaughter-cow prices. Repeated handling and restraint as well as long-distance transport are issues to consider regarding the responsibility of the livestock industry to provide for the safety and well-being of cattle sold for slaughter. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1998; 212:668-672)

Objective

To determine the effect of source of cattle and distance cattle were transported to a commercial slaughter facility on prevalence and severity of carcass bruises in mature beef cows.

Design

Epidemiologic investigation.

Sample Population

Carcasses from 3,955 beef cows from 11 states assembled in 89 procurement lots.

Procedure

Each carcass was scored for bruise severity and location. Source of cattle was categorized. Distance from source to slaughter facility was determined. An ANCOVA was used to determine effects of variables on carcass bruises.

Results

Mature beef cows marketed through livestock auctions conducting first-point testing for brucellosis, especially when transported longer distances (> 325 km) to slaughter facilities, had a greater number and severity of carcass bruises than cows originating from ranches or livestock auctions not conducting first-point testing. There was an increase in number of rib bruises in cows originating from livestock auctions not conducting first-point testing. Prevalence and severity of bruises were not significantly affected by transportation distance between cows originating from auctions not conducting first-point testing and cows originating from ranches.

Clinical Implications

A strong association existed between handling for brucellosis testing prior to sale for slaughter and distance transported to slaughter facility with carcass bruises in mature beef cows. Bruises are major quality defects that decrease carcass value and slaughter-cow prices. Repeated handling and restraint as well as long-distance transport are issues to consider regarding the responsibility of the livestock industry to provide for the safety and well-being of cattle sold for slaughter. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1998; 212:668-672)

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