National market cow and bull beef quality audit-2007: a survey of producer-related defects
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Packing plants (n = 23), were audited for producer-related defects found in cull cows and bulls. Interviews, live animal and carcass evaluations, and subprimal evaluations were conducted during each audit. A drastic reduction in downer incidence was found between 1999 and 2007. All loads met the AMI guidelines for spacing. Excessive use of electric prods must be addressed by packers and transporters alike. Fewer cattle had mud/manure contamination on hides, horns, and brands than in 1999. Predominant hide color for beef cattle was black, while the predominant dairy color was the Holstein (black and white) pattern. Fewer cattle displayed evidence of bovine ocular neoplasia than in 1994 and 1999. Knots present on live cattle were less in the round and more in the shoulder region than in 1999. Dairy cows were more frequently lame in 2007 than 1999, while beef cows were less lame. Carcass bruising was less evident during the 2007 audit than in previous audits. Fewer cattle had arthritic joints in 2007 than in 1999. An increase in liver, tripe, heart, head, and tongue condemnation was witnessed in 2007 than in 1999. Carcass weights increased since 1999, as well as having less fat, indicating heavier muscled animals being slaughtered. The average fat color score was higher for beef cows (3.14) than dairy cows (2.42). Fabrication trends are similar to data collected in 1999 as almost half of cull cow fabrication yields are primal and subprimal type products. The majority of all cattle (64%) were able to be traced back to their original owner. End-user audits revealed a higher incidence of injection site lesions in dairy rounds (48%) than in beef rounds (12%). Lastly, the incidence of dairy round injection site lesions has increased since 1999 (35%), while beef round lesions were fewer since 1999 (20%).
Nicholson, John David Whitson (2008). National market cow and bull beef quality audit-2007: a survey of producer-related defects. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from