Relationship between trauma observed during unloading and carcass bruise prevalence in finished cattle at commercial slaughter facilities
Keywords:Bruising, animal welfare, carcass value, transport, environment, loading, unloading, trauma, beef cattle
Bruising in cattle is an indicator of poor welfare, as well as a significant cause of economic loss due to decreased carcass value. Vehicle design, transport conditions, and loading/unloading procedures are considered potential sources of carcass bruising; however, none of these have been explored extensively. The objective of the current study was to determine whether a relationship exists between trauma incurred during unloading and prevalence of carcass bruising in finished beef cattle at commercial slaughter facilities.