In Research

The “In Research” section this month includes the second abstract feature from Phi Zeta Day that was held Tuesday, March 4. This presentation was made by BCI graduate student, Margaret Stephens. The purpose of the K-State Phi Zeta Research Day is to promote research pertaining to the welfare and diseases of animals through the graduate student poster and oral presentations. These presentations are scored and the top three presentations in several areas recognized with awards.

Prevalence, Anatomical Location and Severity of Bruising on Beef Carcasses Observed in Commercial Beef Slaughter Facilities in Kansas and Texas

Author(s): Margaret Stephens, Chris Reinhardt, D.J. Rezac, Frank Prouty, Steve Bartle, Dave Rethorst and Dan Thomson.

Maggie Stephens

Maggie Stephens

Beef carcass bruising causes a loss in revenue to the producer due to trim loss and can be an indication of sub‐standard cattle management or handling. Carcasses from 18,031 feedlot beef cattle were evaluated at commercial slaughter facilities located in Kansas and Texas. A carcass bruising scoring system that divided the carcass into nine anatomical sections and described the bruising severity was utilized. Bruises less than 2 inches in diameter were scored as minor. Bruises with a diameter of 2 to 6 inches were scored moderate, and bruises with a diameter greater than 6 inches were scored severe. All bruising scores were observed and recorded by trained evaluators from the Beef Cattle Institute at Kansas State University. Bruising was observed in 37.4% of the carcasses. Of the total number of bruises 20.7% were severe, 63.1% moderate, and 16.2% were minor. Two‐thirds of the bruising occurred on the dorsal mid‐line of the carcass with similar bruising occurring on the left (15.3%) or right (17.0%) sides of the carcasses.

The prevalence of bruising on the caudal third of the carcass (18.1%) was half the prevalence of bruising that occurred on the anterior (36.7%) and center (45.2%) portions of the carcass.

Reduction of carcass bruising represents a substantial opportunity to improve profitability and animal welfare. Further research into the loading, transportation, and unloading of beef cattle at the time of slaughter is warranted to diagnose the cause of the predominately cranio‐dorsal carcass bruising and determine the corrective actions to resolve the issue.