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Risk Factors for Bruises and High Muscle pH in Lamb Carcasses of Tierra Del Fuego, Chilean Patagonia

DOI: 10.4236/oalib.1104291, PP. 1-11

Subject Areas: Zoology, Animal Behavior, Veterinary Medicine

Keywords: Lambs, Preslaughter Handling, Bruises, Muscle pH, Chilean Patagonia

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Abstract

The aim of the study was to relate some pre-slaughter handling factors for lambs in a slaughterhouse, with the presence of bruises and high muscle pH in carcasses. Stocking density, transport distance and time, and type of slaughter (Conventional or Kosher) were registered in a sample of 1150 lambs that corresponded to 23 loads originated from different farms (Tierra del Fuego, Chilean Patagonia), distance and time of transport to slaughterhouse. The presence and characteristics of bruises were randomly registered in 50 carcasses per load, and muscle pH measured in loin and leg at 24 h postmortem. Transport distance fluctuated between 50 and 190 km, transport time between 1.5 and 12 h and a mean stocking density of 164 ± 32 kg/m2 for lambs with an average live weight of 31 ± 6 kg was recorded. Of all the carcasses 22.7% showed some degree of bruising and the loin was the most affected anatomical region, accounting for 47.1% of lesions. Transport time and live weight showed association (P < 0.05) with bruising, with the most exposed animals being the heavier lambs (>30 kg) and those travelling for more than 4 h. In the leg a pH < 5.8 was predominant, while the predominant range in the loin was 5.8 to 6.3. Transport time, presence and number of bruises were the factors that had a significant association (P < 0.05) with pH. Due to this association, both bruising and meat pH in lamb carcasses should be used at slaughter plants as indicators of meat quality and also of animal welfare.

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Tarumán, J. A. , Smulders, J. P. and Gallo, C. B. (2018). Risk Factors for Bruises and High Muscle pH in Lamb Carcasses of Tierra Del Fuego, Chilean Patagonia. Open Access Library Journal, 5, e4291. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/oalib.1104291.

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