Department of Livestock & Pasture Science
University of Fort Hare
DISEASE RELATED FACTORS RESPONSIBLE FOR MEAT CONDEMNATION IN APPARENT HEALTHY SHEEP AT A SMALL HOLDER ABATTOIR
Sheep contribute about 5% in Red Meat of South Africa. This proportion is a fruitage from various production challenges which include meat condemnation in abattoirs. It has been found that condemnation factors range from natural occurrence to human-induced (Mojeb et al,2013; Turton, 2012 and Mellau et al 2010). As such investigations involving meat safety and production in various regions will continue to be pursued to improve food security. A retrospective study was conducted on slaughter records of Adelaide abattoir between January and December 2012. From the abattoir records, a total number of 2485 sheep was slaughtered and it was found that internal organs (liver, kidney and lung) were condemned. The aim of the study was to determine the causes of condemnation in sheep slaughtered at a smallholder abattoir. The results showed that abscesses was the most dominant cause of condemnation (8%) followed by Fasciolosis, Cysticercosis and Melanosis (7%, 6%, 6%), respectively. The liver (14%) recorded the highest number of condemned organs.
An active meat inspection was conducted in August 2013, 60 sheep were slaughter at the study site. Inspection revealed that same organs (liver, lung, kidney, including heart) were condemned due to similar signs/symptoms found in abattoir records. In this sample the liver again was the most condemned organ at 15%, the lungs kidney and heart indicated (8%, 5% and 1%), respectively. The body condition of the sheep in which most of the rejected organs were taken from was poor, suggestive of the prevalence of the diseases/conditions found earlier in abattoir records. Other abnormalities encountered during the study were constant presence of fetuses and carcass bruising indicative of poor animal management and handling. Although financial losses due to these condemnations could not be estimated, significant quantity of meat was lost due to the high condemnation percentages and the attendant health hazard it would have caused to the consumers.
Key words: meat condemnation, abattoir, body condition score, prevalence.