Full Length Research Paper
Cattle production is an important economic activity worldwide. Its potential, however, is not fully maximized owing to disease conditions, some causing condemnation and wastage of edible organs at slaughter and a threat of zoonoses. This work aimed at establishing definitive causes of organ condemnation and financial losses in cattle from three slaughterhouses (Kaumara, Siaya, and Ugunja) in Siaya County, Kenya, through a cross-sectional study. Out of 112 cattle slaughtered, 75 (67%) had one or more organs condemned. Parasitic infestations [hepatic fasciolosis due to Fasciola infection 58 (51.8%), pimply guts/Oesophagostomiasis 28 (25%) and hepatic hydatidosis 1 (0.9%)], were major causes. Others were pulmonary blood aspiration from lack of stunning 2 (1.8%), inflammatory conditions [muscle abscess due to Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis infection 1 (0.9%)] and splenomegaly [from congestion 1 (0.9%) and hemosiderosis 1 (0.9%)], consequently, 198 kg of edible meat amounting to Kenya Shillings. 94,470 (US$. 935) was lost. The study demonstrated that controllable parasitic and bacterial conditions, as well as poor slaughtering techniques, caused condemnation of the organs, leading to loss of edible organs for consumers and heavy economic losses to livestock farmers and traders. Additionally, the occurrence of hepatic fasciolosis and hydatidosis suggested a possible zoonotic risk. Sensitization of cattle farmers on measures of controlling the conditions at farm level and slaughterhouse workers towards proper slaughter techniques is recommended. Further research using methods such as molecular techniques is needed to determine possible zoonotic transmission.
Key words: Zoonotic conditions, post-mortem meat inspection, laboratory diagnosis, condemnation losses, Siaya County.
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