Disease monitoring in farmed game: The role of the abattoir meat inspection

Dadios, N and Hardstaff, J and Alonso, S and Staerk, K (2014) Disease monitoring in farmed game: The role of the abattoir meat inspection. Trends in Game Meat Hygiene . Wageningen Academic Publishers, pp. 77-88. ISBN 978-90-8686-238-2

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The inspection of animals at slaughter has traditionally been a key element in the production of safe meat for human consumption. Wild boar (Sus scrofa) and red deer (Cervus elaphus), are two farmed game species that undergo meat inspection as governed by European Commission Regulation (EC) no. 854/2004 (EC, 2004). The primary role of meat inspection is to prevent food-borne hazards entering the food chain. Its secondary role is to monitor animal health and welfare. Proposed changes to the European Commission Regulations and their impact on animal health and welfare surveillance were assessed in this work. The diseases and welfare conditions were: foot and mouth disease (FMD), tuberculosis attributed to Mycobacterium bovis (TB), African/classical swine fever (A/CSF) and trauma in wild boar, and FMD, pasteurellosis, yersiniosis, TB, necrobacilliosis, winter death syndrome and trauma/injuries in red deer. Scenario tree analyses were used to calculate the probability of detection for mild and typical cases of the aforementioned diseases, for the current and proposed, visual only, meat inspection protocol. The effectiveness of abattoir surveillance compared with clinical surveillance, for the exotic disease A/CSF in wild boar and endemic disease TB in red deer, was evaluated using scenario trees. The current meat inspection protocol showed a low probability of detecting typical cases of FMD in deer and high detection probabilities for the other aforementioned diseases and welfare conditions. The current protocol was significantly less effective at detecting mild cases rather than typical cases of A/CSF, FMD and TB in wild boar. The visual only protocol significantly decreased the probability of detecting mild and typical cases of TB in deer. Clinical surveillance was more effective than abattoir surveillance at detecting A/CSF, except when high numbers of animals went through the abattoir increasing the overall probability of detection. Meat inspection proved more effective than clinical surveillance at detecting cases of TB in deer.

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