Animal Production Science Animal Production Science Society
Food, fibre and pharmaceuticals from animals

A survey of the cadmium concentration in kidney, liver and muscle of South Australian cattle

T.-S. Koh, P. C. Bansemer and A. B. Frensham

Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture 38(6) 535 - 540
Published: 1998


Summary. A survey to assess the extent of cadmium accumulation in South Australian cattle was undertaken in 1989–91. Of the 8635 cattle sampled, about 12% of the kidney samples and 1% of the liver samples contained cadmium concentrations above the maximum permitted concentration for human consumption of 2.5 mg/kg wet weight for kidney and 1.25 mg/kg wet weight for liver. None of the 262 muscle samples assayed contained cadmium concentrations above the maximum permitted concentration of 0.2 mg/kg wet weight.

There was a significant effect of location, gender and season on the extent of non-compliance. Of the regions examined, non-compliance rates for Kangaroo Island, Lower Eyre, South East and Lower Central were significantly higher than for the other regions. In general, non-compliance rates were higher in female cattle than in male cattle, increased with age and were lowest in spring. After adjustment for these factors, non-compliance rates were similar across farm types, namely dairy, beef and feedlot.

Although there was a significant correlation between cadmium concentrations in liver and in whole kidney, the confidence limit was considered excessive, rendering liver cadmium values an unreliable predictor of cadmium values in kidney.

© CSIRO 1998

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