Organisation of the transportation and resting of pigs by large slaughter houses from the point of view of meat quality
Wittmann, M.; Laky, G.; Radnai, L.; Kozma, O.; Guba, F.
Allattenyesztes es Takarmanyozas 40(4): 329-340
In Hungary slaughter pigs arrive at the slaughter-houses from big production districts and often from long distances. According to the official specifications pigs brought in for slaughter have to be rested for 24 hours prior to slaughter. This requires a lot of space and poses problems of organisation. The question is, from the point of view of pork quality and labour, what is the appropriate resting time and how does the interaction between transportation distance and resting time effect the quality of pork. To answer this question an experiment was conducted at the slaughter-house in Papa. Transportation distances were 10, 100 and 170 km (3 production units), resting times were: immediate slaughter, 2-3 hours and 24 hours. For each of the three transportation distances and on similar days 300, all together 900 pigs were slaughtered and the pH value of meat, dripping loss and meat colour determined by GoFo apparatus has been measured. Variance analysis indicated a significant complex effect of slaughter day. Greater transportation distance imposed intense environmental stress, similar to that of longer resting time. Results of the experiment indicate the need to avoid immediate slaughter, especially when animals are arriving from shorter distances. Otherwise there is a tendency for the occurrence of PSE meat. If immediate slaughter cannot be avoided, it is suggested including only pigs that have been transported for at least 2 hours. From the point of view of meat quality a resting time of 3 hours is enough. Meat quality did not differ between pigs rested for 3 hours or 24 hours, but the former provides for better utilization of space. Longer resting time than this is necessary only for pigs ensuring the safe start of slaughter next day. On the average meat from the examined pigs was of the required quality. Therefore, if any problems arise from drip loss, genetic background should be considered first subsequent to which the genetic character of the pigs should be changed.