Use of slaughter condemnation data to detect cattle health events in near real-time


Data collected at livestock slaughter can be a useful source of non-specific health indicators including clinical signs, symptoms and proxy measures [1]. When monitored in near real-time, this data can enable the detection of both livestock and human health threats [1]. In the United States (US), the Federal Meat Inspection Act requires ante-mortem inspection of animals and post-mortem inspection of carcasses by veterinarians to ensure the meat product will be fit for human consumption [2]. Inspections are carried out by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) and results are recorded in the Public Health Information System (PHIS), including the reason for condemnation if the animal or carcass is deemed unfit. Since April 2016 the USDA, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Veterinary Services (VS) has used data from the PHIS to monitor changes in the weekly count/rate of cattle condemnations for three cattle types, beef cows, dairy cows, and fed cattle (steers and heifers), and for selected condemnation reasons (central nervous system (CNS), dead, emaciation, mastitis, moribund, pneumonia, pyrexia, and septicemia). These eight reasons were chosen from 45 potential reasons recorded at condemnation as likely to identify clinical signs associated with foreign animal diseases of interest and to monitor trends in important animal health issues such as pneumonia and mastitis.

Objective: Use United States cattle slaughter condemnation data as an animal health indicator for early detection of health events and to characterize trends in condemnation reasons.

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Original Publication Year: 
Event/Publication Date: 
January, 2019

June 18, 2019

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