Simple Summary The use of monitoring schemes to determine the health and welfare status of animals at the abattoir level provides useful feedbacks to farmers and to all those involved in the activities carried out before slaughtering. Bruises are considered welfare indicators in cattle carcasses, as they represent a sign of improper handling or management executed during the pre-slaughter phases. The aims of this study were to assess the prevalence of bruises in beef cattle at the slaughterhouse and to determine their correlation with factors linked to animal transport. The 21.6% of the animals included in the study had bruises, which were mainly characterized by being red, small and located in one region. Steers had less probability of presenting bruises compared to the other categories, while animals transported in the condition of a high space allowance had more chance of presenting bruises. Even though more studies are needed, the results of this study have shown that the assessment of bruises on cattle carcasses could reflect some welfare issues occurring during pre-slaughter activities. These data can be used to improve specific procedures and to boost cattle welfare. The assessment of bruises on carcasses at the slaughterhouse has been lately indicated as a valid method to evaluate cattle welfare. However, little is known about the prevalence and the causes of bruises of cattle slaughtered in Italy. The aim of this study was to collect information concerning the prevalence of bruises on the carcasses of beef cattle slaughtered in an Italian abattoir and to determine a relationship between fresh bruises and transport-related factors. In total, 1265 animals were included in this study, with 21.6% of them being positive for at least one bruise, either fresh or old. In most cases, the bruising was mild, with lesions exclusively located in one area of the carcass. Most of the bruised animals (63%) showed at least one red lesion. Occurrence of such red, fresh bruises varied significantly depending on the body parts (p < 0.0001), with the flank being the most affected area (39.5%), followed by the butt (36.0%) and the front (23.8%). The probability of fresh bruising varied significantly depending on the category of each animal (p < 0.0001), with steers showing fewer red bruises than both heifers and veal. Finally, animals transported in conditions of a high density had a lower probability of bruising (p = 0.0003). These findings support the use of a monitoring scheme based on the presence of bruises to assess cattle welfare at the abattoir level in order to provide feedback to farmers and to implement procedures carried out during transport.

Relationship between Bruises on Carcasses of Beef Cattle and Transport-Related Factors / Zanardi, E.; De Luca, S.; Alborali, G. L.; Ianieri, A.; Varra, M. O.; Romeo, C.; Ghidini, S.. - In: ANIMALS. - ISSN 2076-2615. - 12:15(2022), p. 1997. [10.3390/ani12151997]

Relationship between Bruises on Carcasses of Beef Cattle and Transport-Related Factors

Zanardi E.;De Luca S.
;
Ianieri A.;Varra M. O.;Romeo C.;Ghidini S.
2022

Abstract

Simple Summary The use of monitoring schemes to determine the health and welfare status of animals at the abattoir level provides useful feedbacks to farmers and to all those involved in the activities carried out before slaughtering. Bruises are considered welfare indicators in cattle carcasses, as they represent a sign of improper handling or management executed during the pre-slaughter phases. The aims of this study were to assess the prevalence of bruises in beef cattle at the slaughterhouse and to determine their correlation with factors linked to animal transport. The 21.6% of the animals included in the study had bruises, which were mainly characterized by being red, small and located in one region. Steers had less probability of presenting bruises compared to the other categories, while animals transported in the condition of a high space allowance had more chance of presenting bruises. Even though more studies are needed, the results of this study have shown that the assessment of bruises on cattle carcasses could reflect some welfare issues occurring during pre-slaughter activities. These data can be used to improve specific procedures and to boost cattle welfare. The assessment of bruises on carcasses at the slaughterhouse has been lately indicated as a valid method to evaluate cattle welfare. However, little is known about the prevalence and the causes of bruises of cattle slaughtered in Italy. The aim of this study was to collect information concerning the prevalence of bruises on the carcasses of beef cattle slaughtered in an Italian abattoir and to determine a relationship between fresh bruises and transport-related factors. In total, 1265 animals were included in this study, with 21.6% of them being positive for at least one bruise, either fresh or old. In most cases, the bruising was mild, with lesions exclusively located in one area of the carcass. Most of the bruised animals (63%) showed at least one red lesion. Occurrence of such red, fresh bruises varied significantly depending on the body parts (p < 0.0001), with the flank being the most affected area (39.5%), followed by the butt (36.0%) and the front (23.8%). The probability of fresh bruising varied significantly depending on the category of each animal (p < 0.0001), with steers showing fewer red bruises than both heifers and veal. Finally, animals transported in conditions of a high density had a lower probability of bruising (p = 0.0003). These findings support the use of a monitoring scheme based on the presence of bruises to assess cattle welfare at the abattoir level in order to provide feedback to farmers and to implement procedures carried out during transport.
Relationship between Bruises on Carcasses of Beef Cattle and Transport-Related Factors / Zanardi, E.; De Luca, S.; Alborali, G. L.; Ianieri, A.; Varra, M. O.; Romeo, C.; Ghidini, S.. - In: ANIMALS. - ISSN 2076-2615. - 12:15(2022), p. 1997. [10.3390/ani12151997]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11381/2929871
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