International Journal for the Study of Animal Problems


Temple Grandin


Bruising and carcass damage is a major source of financial loss to slaughterhouses in the United States, approximately $46 million per annum. The absence of easily administered tests to determine where and/or when bruising occurs results in the slaughter plant absorbing carcass damage costs. Rough, abusive handling of livestock accounts for over half of all bruising. Injuries occur through overuse of persuaders, careless transport methods, and faulty equipment. Other elements relevant to carcass loss include branding cattle, abscesses, spreader and crippling injuries, sickness and death during extreme weather conditions, and carcass shrink. The 1979 regulations under the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act of 1978 take into account many of the causes of bruising and carcass damage and its implementation should begin to correct unsuitable conditions associated with preslaughter treatment of livestock.