Welfare and meat quality of lambs

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Katarina Nenadović
Nikola Čobanović
Marijana Vučinić
Dejan Bugarski
Tomislav Mikuš
Eva Voslarova
Manja Zupan Šemrov
Miroslav Kjosevski
Nedjeljko Karabasil


Recently, in many parts of the world, greater importance has been given to lamb meat as well as to the intensive production of lamb and sheep, due to demand for this type of meat at affordable prices. In Serbia, similar to most European countries, the structure of total sheep meat production comprises about 70% lamb meat and 30% sheep meat. This study assessed resource-based measures on 11 dairy sheep farms and investigated, in a total of 30 lambs, the effects of sex, the presence of bruises and pneumonia in carcasses, and carcass and meat quality. Carcass (carcass length, thigh length, croup width, subcutaneous fat thickness, presence of bruises) and meat quality (pH, temperature, drip, thawing and cooking losses, color, and meat quality classes) traits were measured post mortem. The most common deficiencies on farms were high stocking density, poor hygienic conditions, dirty drinkers, and lack of outdoor access. Regarding sex differences, higher prevalences of carcass bruises and severe pneumonia were recorded in male lambs. Meat pH (pH45min), sensory color score, and prevalence of dark, firm and dry (DFD) meat were higher in lambs with carcass bruises. The occurrence of quality defects (DFD meat) was higher in lambs with severe pneumonia. It can be concluded that it is necessary to improve the welfare conditions on the lamb farms and pre-slaughter conditions in order to achieve better lamb meat quality.


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Nenadović, K., Čobanović, N. ., Vučinić, M. ., Bugarski, D. ., Mikuš, T. ., Voslarova, E. ., … Karabasil, N. . (2021). Welfare and meat quality of lambs. Veterinarski Glasnik, 75(2), 189–201. https://doi.org/10.2298/VETGL210126006N
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