Invasive Species Compendium

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Abstract

Morbid traits and qualitative changes in slaughter cattle in Poland over 2001-2010.

Abstract

The research objective was to analyze the results of post mortem examinations conducted by the national Veterinary Inspection in cattle slaughterhouses in Poland in the years 2001-2010. During the investigated period over 14 million heads of cattle were slaughtered. Young cattle aged between 12 and 30 months comprised the dominant group (53%). Morbid traits or qualitative changes were reported in 19.56% of carcasses. A total of 37,434 carcasses were considered unfit for consumption, that accounted for 1.36% carcasses with recognized morbid traits or qualitative changes and 0.27% of all the animals examined after slaughter. The most frequent changes found in the slaughter cattle carcasses were parasitic invasions and qualitative changes which constituted 92% of all the confirmed changes and 18% of all the examined animals. The most common reasons for considering carcasses unfit for consumption were sepsis and pyemia (25.6% in calves, 30.99% in young cattle, 33.52% in older animals). The other group of carcasses being declared unfit for consumption included the qualitative changes i.e. excessive thinness of calves - 24.92% and of older animals - 10,46%, while in young cattle, natural death or slaughter in a state of agony - 11.38% and finally abnormal meat taste and odor - 9.3%. During the studied period, the rate of slaughtered calves has systematically declined with a concurrent increase in the number of slaughter young cattle. This evidences proper trends in cattle breeding. However, there should be highlighted a downtrend percentage of calf and young cattle carcasses with the qualitative changes recognized in the post slaughter examination which proves the good health of cattle population in Poland. While a group of slaughtered animals aged over 30 months was characterized by a very high rate of carcasses with morbid traits (37.45%), at the same time, this group had the highest percentage of carcasses considered unfit for consumption confirming the appropriate sanitary-veterinary supervision that guarantees high quality beef.