Use of exsanguination blood lactate to assess the quality of pre-slaughter pig handling.

Edwards LN, Grandin T, Engle TE, Porter SP, Ritter MJ, Sosnicki AA, Anderson DB.

Department of Animal Sciences and lndustry, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1 171, United States.

Meat St; 2010 Oct;86(2):384-90. Epub 2010 May 26.


The objective of these studies (Exp.1, n=76; Exp.2, n=140) was to characterize the relationship of pre-slaughter animal- handling events to exsanguination blood lactate concentration ([LAC]) in a commercial pork processing plant. Pearson correlations indicated relationships (P<0.05) between [LAC] and the number of times a pig jammed, backed up and reared (Exp.1), and [l.AC] was correlated (P<0.05) with electric prod use and vocalization in response to prod use in the crowd pen, as well as jamming in the single-file chute (Exp. 2). Single degree of freedom contrasts indicated that pigs experiencing one or more events (i.e., jamming, rearing and/or backing up) while moving through a single-Hle chute had greater (P<0.03) [LAC] than pigs that did not experience these events in both experiments, whereas pigs prodded in the crowd pen had greater (P=0.03) [LAC] than pigs that were not prodded (Exp. 2). This study provides data demonstrating that specific pre—slaughter animal-handling events are related to post-slaughter [LAC] in a commercial setting.

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