Document Detail

Variations in meat pH of beef bulls in relation to conditions of transfer to slaughter and previous history of the animals.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  16699114     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Animals are subjected to various events that cause physical exhaustion and psychological stress during transfer to slaughter. This can lead to defective meat quality. Some animals may be better able to withstand the stress of transfer, depending on their previous experience of transport and on their finishing conditions (mixing, farmers' attitudes). The objective of this study was to assess the impact of 1) the conditions of transfer to slaughter (including duration of the journey, waiting time at lairage, etc.); and 2) the bulls' previous history (including experience in transport, mixing during finishing, and the farmers' attitudes) on the reactions of bulls to transfer and on their meat quality. We conducted a survey in commercial conditions. The history of the bulls and the facilities on the farms were noted; farmers were questioned on their attitudes; the bulls' reactions to loading into and unloading from the truck were observed; journey-related data were collected; and cortisol concentration at slaughter and the pH of the LM and the rectus abdominis were measured. Our study confirmed that certain physical factors associated with transport can increase stress and limit the decline of meat pH. These factors include the absence of loading facilities on the farm, transport on a warm day, or a short waiting time at lairage. Social aspects also played a role; the presence of bulls from the same finishing group limited stress and improved the pH decline. Events and management before transfer were also of importance; the farmer awareness of the sensitivity of bulls to humans or to feeding schedules but the absence of a positive attitude toward close contacts with bulls were all likely to limit stress or its consequences on meat pH. Although these results need to be confirmed in controlled experiments, they suggest that good management of beef bulls before and during transfer is essential to meat quality.
L Mounier; H Dubroeucq; S Andanson; I Veissier
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of animal science     Volume:  84     ISSN:  1525-3163     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Anim. Sci.     Publication Date:  2006 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2006-05-15     Completed Date:  2006-10-10     Revised Date:  2008-11-21    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8003002     Medline TA:  J Anim Sci     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1567-76     Citation Subset:  IM    
ENVL, Unité de zootechnie, 69280 Marcy L'Etoile, France.
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MeSH Terms
Animal Husbandry*
Cattle / blood
Hydrocortisone / blood
Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
Meat / standards*
Stress, Physiological / blood,  veterinary*
Time Factors
Reg. No./Substance:

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