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

Bruising in beef cattle slaughtered at an abattoir in southern Queensland

JR Wythes, RK Kaus and GA Newman

Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture 25(4) 727 - 733
Published: 1985


The level of bruising and its distribution on the carcass was assessed for 35 085 cattle at an abattoir in southern Queensland. Using the Australian Carcase Bruise Scoring System, the average bruise score was 8.4 points (equivalent to 1.1 kg bruise trim) per carcass, with 61%of bruising on the hindquarters. Forty-two carcasses (0.12%) were condemned because of bruising. There were significant ( P< 0.01) differences between slaughter-lots due to horn status (mixed horn > hornless group), class of animal (mixed sex and cow > steer > bull groups), breed (Zebu crossbred > British breed groups), mode of travel (road plus rail > road > road plus walk), and individual saleyard. There were no differences due to method of sale (direct to abattoir v. via saleyard), road transport operators, road distance travelled (<50 to > 500 km), or due to unloading cattle from trucks to dip for ticks. The results indicate that animal factors, such as horn status and class of animal, may be more important sources of bruising than transportation (at least by major transport operators) and method of sale. Future efforts to reduce the level of bruising depend on all meat processors paying lower prices for bruised carcasses and publicly proclaiming these differential prices.

© CSIRO 1985

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