Significance of abattoir finding among slaughtered sheep

Master's Thesis, 2013

269 Pages, Grade: Excellent

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This survey was conducted in El-Basateen abattoir in Cairo to study the significance of abattoir finding among slaughtered sheep from January to December 2006. A total of 57223 sheep included 39582 Saidi, 17367 Barki, 54 Ossimi, 31 Rahmani, and 189 Imported breeds (162 Romanian, 27 Ethiopian) admitted to El-Basateen abattoir ovine slaughter hall were slaughtered & inspected according to the Egyptian Official Code # 517 for Meat inspection presented in the (El-Wakaa El-Masria, 1986). All gross pathological & abnormal findings revealed during the postmortem inspection of sheep carcasses were recorded & photographed to illustrate the macroscopic details of each gross lesion. The prevalence of most common abnormalities and affections demonstrated in sheep carcasses were estimated in relation to breed, age, sex and seasons. The economic losses due to condemned carcasses & organs were evaluated. The public health significance & zoonotic importance of recorded affections have been discussed

Key words: sheep, carcasses, organs, abattoir, condemned, postmortem, gross lesion, photographed


I am greatly indebted to Dr. ADEL MOHAMED IBRAHEEM, Professor of Meat Hygiene, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Cairo University for his scholarly guidance, intellectual advice, valuable supervision and constant encouragement throughout the study period; so it gives me great pleasure to express my sincere appreciation to him

My sincere thanks to Dr. HAYAM ABDEL-AAL MANSOUR, Professor of Meat Hygiene, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Cairo University and Dr. HASSAN SHAFEEQ, undersecretary of Central Administration of Slaughterhouses & Public Hygiene, General Organization of Veterinary Services, Ministry of Agriculture for their kind advices

My deepest thanks to Dr. MAGDI MAHDI Professor of Pathology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Cairo University and Dr. AHMED EMAM General Manager of General Administration of Meat Hygiene, General Organization of Veterinary Services, Ministry of Agriculture for their great help


Table 1: Incidence of affections necessitated total condemnation of

Table 2: Prevalence of Avital slaughter & Imperfect bleeding among examined sheep carcasses

Table 3: Prevalence of Poorness & Emaciation among examined sheep

Table 4: Prevalence of Abnormal colors among examined sheep carcasses

Table 5: Condemned organs & trimming in different seasons

Table 6: Condemned organs

Table 7: Prevalence of rough handling injuries among examined sheep

Table 8: Prevalence of Abscessation among examined sheep carcasses

Table 9: Abscesses in different organs & seasons

Table 10: Prevalence of Mange among examined sheep carcasses

Table 11: Prevalence of Parasites among examined sheep carcasses

Table 12: Prevalence of Liver Affections among examined sheep carcasses

Table 13: Prevalence of Renal Affections among examined sheep carcasses

Table 14: Prevalence of the most common affections among examined sheep


Fig. 1: Prevalence of avital slaughter & imperfect bleeding according to sex

Fig. 2: Prevalence of avital slaughter & imperfect bleeding according to age

Fig. 3: Prevalence of avital slaughter & imperfect bleeding according to seasons

Fig. 4: Prevalence of Poorness & Emaciation according to sex

Fig. 5: Prevalence of Poorness & Emaciation according to age

Fig. 6: Prevalence of Poorness & Emaciation according to seasons

Fig. 7: Prevalence of Abnormal colors according to sex

Fig. 8: Prevalence of Abnormal colors according to age

Fig. 9: Prevalence of Abnormal colors according to seasons

Fig. 10: Prevalence of Bruising according to sex

Fig. 11: Prevalence of Bruising according to age

Fig. 12: Prevalence of Bruising according to seasons

Fig. 13: Prevalence of Abscess according to sex

Fig. 14: Prevalence of Abscess according to age

Fig. 15: Prevalence of Abscess according to seasons

Fig. 16: Prevalence of Mange according to sex

Fig. 17: Prevalence of Mange according to age

Fig. 18: Prevalence of Mange according to seasons

Fig. 19: Prevalence of Parasites according to sex

Fig. 20: Prevalence of Parasites according to age

Fig. 21: Prevalence of Parasites according to seasons

Fig. 22: Prevalence of C. ovis C. tenuicollis, Fasciola & Hydatid cyst through seasons

Fig. 23: Prevalence of C. ovis C. tenuicollis, Fasciola & Hydatid cyst through sex

Fig. 24: Prevalence of Liver Affections according to sex

Fig. 25: Prevalence of Liver Affections according to age

Fig. 26: Prevalence of Liver Affections according to seasons

Fig. 27: Prevalence of Renal Affections according to sex

Fig. 28: Prevalence of Renal Affections according to age

Fig. 29: Prevalence of Renal Affections according to seasons


illustration not visible in this excerpt


illustration not visible in this excerpt


Sheep (Ovis aries) are quadruped ruminant mammals typically kept as livestock . Numbering a little over one billion worldwide. The top 5 countries on highest number of sheep are China 134 million, India 73 million, Australia 68 million, Iran 54 million and Sudan 52 million (FAO stat, 2010).

Sheep population in Egypt is about 5.5 million (FAO stat., 2011). The three major Egyptian sheep breeds are: Barki, Ossimi and Rhamani, representing 65% of the total population, in addition to Saidi breed (Elshennawy, 1995).

Sheep are most likely descended from the wild mouflon of Europe and Asia. One of the earliest animals to be domesticated for agricultural purposes, sheep is raised for fleece, meat (lamb, hogget or mutton) and milk. A sheep's wool is the most widely used animal fiber, and is usually harvested by shearing.

Since ancient times, lamb has been regarded as a religious symbol. Jesus is often referred to as the "Lamb of "God." Sheep were commonly used for sacrifice by the Muslims all over the world on the great festival of Eid-el Adha; millions of sheep are slaughtered on this auspicious day every year (Ali, 2009). It is also customary for Muslims to sacrifice lambs to celebrate the birth of a child (two lambs for a boy child and one for a girl). The sacrifice is part of the "aqiqah" ceremony (Sheep info, 2010).

Ovine meat from younger animals is called lamb and that from older ones is called mutton. It is considered as more desirable, juicier, tender, flavorful and fatter than goat meat (Schonfeldt et al., 1993) and also than beef or pork (Bickerstaffe et al., 1997). Sheep continue to be important for wool and meat today, and are also occasionally raised for pelts, as dairy animals, or as model organisms for science (Wikipedia, 2012).

Meat is a perishable commodity, and poor handling daily can exert both public health and economic toll on any nation. Marketing and sale of meat requiring inspection of animals before and after slaughter, that meat hygiene service functions in such a way as to satisfy consumers and at the same time safeguard public health and animal hygiene.

The aim of meat inspection is to provide safe and wholesome meat for human consumption. The responsibility for achieving this objective lies primarily with the relevant public health authorities who are represented by veterinarians and meat inspectors at the abattoir stage.

Meat inspection is split into an ante-mortem and post-mortem inspection. Both have the purpose of minimizing and removing the risk of hazardous meat being authorized for sale and thus posing a public health risk. The primary aims of traditional meat inspection (van Logtestijn et al., 1993) are to:

- Remove any grossly abnormal, inedible products from the human food chain.
- Prevent the distribution of contaminated meat to humans.
- Assist in the eradication of specific diseases in livestock.

Therefore the present study was planned to fulfill the following:

1. Demonstrate & illustrate with colored photo illustration the characteristics of the gross pathological finding of the different abnormal conditions revealed during the postmortem inspections of the slaughtered sheep.
2. Monitoring the incidence of organs and carcasses condemnation of sheep slaughtered in El Basateen modern abattoir & their prevalence regarding breeds, sexes, ages and seasons.
3. Evaluating the economic losses due to condemned carcasses & organs.
4. Discussing the public health significance & zoonotic importance of recorded affections.


1-Sheep as food animal:

Almahdy et al. (2000) stated that Egyptian sheep breeds are characterized by extended breeding seasons, high fertility, and low prolificacy. Currently in Egypt efforts are being made to intensify production systems, primarily through changing reproductive management and crossing native breeds with introduced breeds.

FAO (2000) reported that the world population of sheep stands at 1071 million. China has the largest sheep population 128 million ovines, followed by Australia and New Zealand, having around 120 and 46 million ovines, respectively.

Galal et al. (2002) stated that sheep is one of the most important domestic animals in Egypt. There are several sheep breeds. Their total populations exceed 4 million heads and are raised mainly for meat production with carpet sheep wool as a secondary product. Egyptian sheep breeds distributed around the country from North to South. The Barki breed is found at the West coast and is well adapted to the desert condition. Rahmani breed is mainly at the Nile delta. Ossimi is in central Egypt, whereas the Saidi and Sohagi breeds are found in Southern Egypt. They represent 11%, 23%, 12%, 7% and 26% of the total sheep population, respectively.

Ermias and Rege (2003) found that carcasses of Rahmani lambs were fatter than those of Ossimi ones.

Galal et al. (2005) stated that Sheep contribute 6% of the total red meet produced in Egypt. The total sheep population in Egypt is 4,200,000 heads.

Williams (2007) said that lamb meat is one of the few good sources of iron and an excellent source of zinc, lamb also have more omega-3 fatty acids than either chicken or pork, although fish is still a significantly better source than any of the red meats.

Cinkulov et al. (2008) reported that Tsigai sheep is one of the oldest Southeast European sheep breeds, used for milk, meat and wool production and is associated with local traditions and food culture. The breed might have originated from Turkey and subsequently spread to the Balkan region, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Moldavia and Russia.

El Nahas et al. (2008) reported that Barki is found in the Mediterranean coastal strip west of Alexandria; Rahmani is found in the Northern Delta (middle of Nile Delta), whereas Ossimi is found in South of Nile Delta. Egyptian sheep breeds are fat tailed and their body covered with carpet wool.

Gizaw (2008) stated that there are about 14 traditionally recognized sheep populations in Ethiopia. The sheep types in Ethiopia are classified into four major groups based on their physical characteristics: short fat-tailed, long fat-tailed, thintailed and fat-rumped sheep. Fiber type is another major distinguishing feature of sheep breeds in Ethiopia. There are two breed groups: course-wool sheep and short-hair sheep. Coarse-wool sheep are found in cold, sub-alpine environments and short-hair sheep in warmer areas.

Abdel-Moneim (2009) found that heart girth and paunch girth of Barki ram lambs were significantly higher than those of Ossimi and Rahmani ones. Liver weight was significantly heavier in Barki ram lambs than in Ossimi and Rahmani ones. Carcass of Ossimi significantly excelled that of Barki and Rahmani breeds in total fat stores. Whereas, Barki carcass had significantly less total fat content. The superiority of Ossimi breed in total fat stores may be due to its heaviest fat tail. Accordingly, hot carcass weight was the highest in Ossimi ram lambs (26.1 kg) followed by Barki ones (25.8 kg). Whereas, Rahmani ram lambs produced significantly the lowest hot carcass weight (24.3 kg). Hence, the highest dressing percentage was significantly found in Ossimi carcass (56.2%) which was over Barki (53.3%) and Rahmani (53.1%) carcasses.

Teleb et al. (2009) reported that Saidi sheep are the oldest Egyptian breeds located in Upper Egypt. They are raised mainly for lamb production with wool as a secondary product.

Ili ş iu et al. (2010) stated that Tsigai breed comprises 18 % of the entire Romanian sheep population, taking second place after Turcana breed (69.9 %). These breeds are kept in mountain and sub-mountain regions with large areas of pastures.

Sheep info (2010) reported that Barki sheep, which goes by several other names, is well-adapted to live under desert conditions. Ossimi sheep breed originated in the Ossim village in the Giza Governorate of Egypt and is the most popular among the Nile and Delta sheep breeds. The breed is adapted to variable conditions and is usually raised under intensive cropping conditions. They are a medium sized sheep, narrow, with a shallow body and long legs. They are multi-colored, usually white with a brown head, neck, and legs. They produce course/carpet wool and have a fat tail. Rams are horned. Rahmani sheep originated in Northern Syria and

Northern Turkey and was introduced into Egypt in the 9th century. The original stock is the Red Karman from Turkey. The breed is named after Rahmania, a village in the Beheira governorate in the North of the Delta. This breed is believed to have some resistance to internal parasites.

2-Antemortem inspection:


Winter and Charnley (1999) reported that sheep have front teeth on the lower jaw and a dental pad on the upper jaw. They also have molars for grinding their food. These molars are located on both upper and lower jaws in the back of the mouth. Sheep have 32 permanent teeth. Eight lower incisors, no upper incisors, 12 molars on the top jaw and 12 molars on the bottom jaw. In first year animals, all teeth are small and sharp. They will gradually be replaced by larger, permanent teeth, and this process is used to help determine the age of the sheep.

NZMCA (2004) classified sheep as follows:

- Lamb: <12 months of age or without any permanent incisor teeth.
- Hogget: male or female having two permanent incisors.
- Ram: male having more than two permanent incisors.
- Mutton: ewe or wether having more than two permanent incisors.

Cocquyt et al. (2005) noticed that, in all sheep breeds the permanent central incisors erupted at between 12 and 18 months of age. In 96 % of the sheep the permanent middle incisors erupted at between 18 and 26 months; and in 92 % the permanent lateral incisors erupted at between 24 and 36 months of age. The permanent corner teeth erupted at between 32 and 44 months in 96 % of the sheep.

Vatta et al. (2005) reported that when lambs are born, they have four pairs of baby or "milk" teeth. All teeth are small and sharp. by the time they replaced by permanent teeth .Once all eight permanent incisors are fully erupted the sheep can also be referred to as "aged", and once teeth are lost or broken, they are referred to as "‘broken-mouthed".

Sex differentiation:

Sainz et al. (1990) stated that sheep sex does not seem to be a factor which affects the efficiency of fat deposition related to the energy ingested.

Bennett et al. (1991) stated that female sheep is the sexual type with the greatest amount of fat, which is distributed in the carcass mainly in the front and ventral regions.

Gracey et al. (1999) reported that, Lamb: is a sheep from birth to weaning time (generally 3 ½ - 4 ½ months old). Butchery apply a more generous interpretation to the term lamb and use it to donate a sheep from birth until shearing time the following year (13 months). Ram: is the uncastrated male. Wether: is the castrated male sheep. Gimmer: is a female which has not yet borne a lamb. Ewe: is a female which has borne a lamb.

Vergara et al. (1999) stated that the color of meat is not affected by sex.

Gur et al. (2003) stated that female sheep having higher dressing percentage and fatness score. Female lambs were fatter than male lambs as indicated by external fat estimation and kidney fat.


Haddad et al. (2006) concluded that castration had no effect on average daily gain, hot carcass weight, cold carcass weight and dressing percentages of Awassi lambs. However, kidney fat for castrated lambs was significantly higher, reduced efficiency of feed utilization, increased subcutaneous fat and decreased carcass leanness. Therefore, due to local consumer preference of leaner carcasses with minimum subcutaneous fat, castration of Awassi lambs to be slaughtered approximately 130 days is not recommended under an intensive feeding system.

Dwyer and Lawrence (2008) reported that lambs may often reach slaughter weight before sexual maturity making castration unnecessary. In addition, there may be some production benefits in leaving male lambs entire as ram lamb grow faster and produce leaner carcass than castrated male.

Hanrahan (2010) stated that male lambs left entire grow significantly faster than castrates, while meat from entire male lambs has less fat, and thus represents better value for consumers.


Lainas and Deligiannis (2002) evaluated the frequency of cryptorchidism in the Karagouniko breed of sheep, Greece. They inspected 14107 carcasses of male lambs. High frequency (23.81%) was detected. Cryptorchidism was found to be bilateral or unilateral 20:1, respectively. The most common type of unilateral defect was found to be the right one 10:1. Bilateral was of abdominal or inguinal type 400:1. Testicular aplasia was found to be rare (0.02% of total examined male lambs or 0.09% of cryptorchid ones). The weight of “hidden” testicles and epididymides was lower than that of normal (14.06% and 22.99%, respectively). However, until the age of 4 months, there was no difference in weight between cryptorchidic and normal lambs. Males with bilateral cryptorchidism were not able to produce semen.

Smith et al. (2007) recorded the incidence of cryptorchidism in ram lambs of the North Ronaldsay breed between 1998 and 2005. The overall incidence of cryptorchidism was 7.4% (ranging from 2.4% to 18.2% in different years). In 87.3% of the cases only one testis was retained, with the right testis being affected in 78.5% of all the cryptorchids.

Kahn and Mays (2008) stated that cryptorchidism is a failure of one or both testicles to descend into the scrotum and is seen in all domestic animals. Predisposing factors include testicular hypoplasia, estrogen exposure in pregnancy, breech labor compromising blood supply to the testes, and delayed closure of the umbilicus resulting in an inability to increase abdominal pressure. Bilateral cryptorchidism results in sterility. Unilateral cryptorchidism is more common, and the male is usually fertile due to sperm production from the normally descended testicle. The undescended testicle may be located anywhere from just caudal of the kidney to within the inguinal canal. Abdominal testicles produce male hormones, and cryptorchid animals have normal secondary sex characteristics and mating behavior. Because of the inherited nature of the condition, unilateral cryptorchids should not be used for breeding.


Dennis (1979) studied the urogenital system in 401 sheep over a three years period. Male pseudohermaphroditism was found in 3(0.75%) lambs.

Bosu and Basrur (1984) studied the ovine intersex to compare their morphological and hormonal features in light of their cytogenetic make-up. Both animals, registered as females at birth, developed male-like appearance and behaviour as they approached the age of sexual maturity. Plasma testosterone concentrations in the intersexes were similar to those in adult males of the respective species.

Hafez (1995) said that an intersex is an animal that presents congenital anatomical variations that confuse the diagnosis of sex. This animal possesses the reproductive organs of both sexes, or may belong genetically to one sex and phenotypically to the other. The term intersex includes hermaphrodites, pseudo-hermaphrodites, freemartins, and other forms of sexual inversion.

Smith et al. (1998) studied abnormalities of the reproductive tract of female sheep at two abattoirs in the Southwest of England over a period of 12 months. During the survey 9,970 reproductive tracts from cull ewes and 23,536 tracts from nulliparous sheep (prime lambs and hoggets) were examined. 11 animals were intersex.

Capel and Coveney (2004) said that in hermaphrodite both female and male gonads are present. When the gonads of one sex are present with the phenotype of the opposite sex, this condition is called pseudohermaphrodite.

Cinzia et al. (2006) studied nine Sarda x Lacaune ewes with intersexual characteristics and an infertility condition. The ewes showed basically a female phenotype but a clinical examination revealed a different degree of masculinization in the morphology of external genital organs. A shorter vagina was observed in female-like ewes and a hypertrophic clitoris in male-like ewes.

Kahn and Mays (2008) reported that true hermaphrodites are rare and have both ovarian and testicular tissue and exhibit anomalies of the external genitalia. Pseudohermaphrodites are more common; they have one or the other type of gonad and an anomaly of the external genitalia that resembles, to some degree, that of the opposite sex.

Teixeira et al. (2010) recorded a case of freemartinism of the XX/XY chimera type in sheep in Brazil. Anatomopathological examination of the internal genitalia showed the absence of a cervix and bilateral presence of an ovary and testis.


Ali (2009) reported that the Islamic method of slaughtering with a knife is the least painful and thus the most humane method of killing an animal.

Emergency slaughter:

Herenda et al. (2000) stated that animals affected with extensive bruising or fractures require emergency slaughter.

Ontario (2006) said that emergency slaughter must be performed in accordance with the regulations and the carcass must be transported to the approved meat plant within a specified time.

FAWAC (2009) stated that emergency slaughter means the slaughter of an otherwise healthy animal which has suffered an injury that prevented its transport to the slaughterhouse for welfare reasons.

FSAI (2010) reported that food business operators must ensure that meat from animals that have undergone emergency slaughter outside the slaughterhouse may be used for human consumption only if it complies with all the following requirements:

- Healthy animal suffered an accident.
- Inspected at ante-mortem by a veterinarian.
- If slaughtered, must be transported to the slaughterhouse hygienically and without delay.
- If more than two hours elapse between slaughter and arrival at the slaughterhouse, the animal must be refrigerated.
- Accompanied by declaration stating by identify of the animal and any treatments administered to the animal, dates of administration and withdrawal periods as well as reason for emergency slaughter.
- Approved to be fit for human consumption after post-mortem inspection.
- Food business operators must define use of this meat.

Imperfect bleeding:

Gracey et al. (1999) stated that in case of pyrexia the prescapular lymph nodes are suffused with blood but not enlarged. Where pyrexia and systemic changes are evident, total condemnation is warranted since badly bled-carcasses rapidly undergo decomposition. Less severe afebrile cases may justify a more favorable judgment.

Herenda et al. (2000) stated that septicemia is a morbid condition caused by the presence of pathogenic bacteria and their associated toxins in the blood. The positive diagnosis of septicemia can only be made by isolation of the causative organism from the blood stream. Postmortem findings include enlarged edematous or hemorrhagic lymph nodes, degenerative changes in parenchymatous organs (liver, heart and kidneys), congestion and petechial or ecchymotic hemorrhages in kidney, heart surface, mucous and serous membranes, connective tissue, inadequately bled-out carcass as a result of high fever and blood stained serous exudate in abdominal and/or thoracic cavities.

Wilson et al. (2005) stated that imperfect bleeding (insufficiency of bleeding) occurs when the animal is moribund (dying) or very distressed and is said to have been killed to save its life. The flesh is dark, there is capillary bleeding, the organs, particularly the liver, lungs and kidneys, are dark and congested and when cut, blood runs out. The intercostals veins are full of blood and are clearly visible. The forelegs often tend to be tucked up. The carcass sets badly and decomposes rapidly.

Fernandes (2009) stated that imperfect bleeding at slaughter can however indicate a diseased condition in the slaughter animal. Congestion of tissues due to an active hyperemia associated with pyrexia must therefore be differentiated from that resulting from imperfect bleeding of mechanical etiology when carcasses are assessed in respect to their fitness for human consumption.

Cold slaughter:

DiMaio and DiMaio (2002) stated that in determining if the wound was pre- or post-mortem, the general rule is that a pre-mortem wound gapes and bleeds profusely while a postmortem wound does not.

Jain (2004) stated that postmortem wound usually create very little or no bleeding from broken arteries and veins as the heart is not pumping the blood.

Merck (2007) stated that to determine whether a wound was antemortem or postmortem require gross examination. The presence of hemorrhage is indicative that the heart was still beating when the injury occurred. If there is sufficient survival time after injury prior to death, it is possible to see evidence of an inflammatory response in the injured area.

Delay evisceration:

Gill et al. (1978) reported that hygiene regulations require that carcasses be eviscerated soon after slaughter to prevent agonal invasion of the tissues. There is no scientific justification for believing that bacteria rapidly leave the gut at the time of death. Bacteria in fact remain confined within the intestines until they are released by autolytic action, which requires days, not minutes, at temperate ambient temperatures.

Gill and Penney (1979) stated that any bacteria likely to be of importance in deep- tissue spoilage of carcasses from meat animals must therefore be present before death or be introduced into the body during the killing process. Meat inspection should eliminate most diseased carcasses, and although the extent to which symptomless infections occur is not known, it is possible that entry of bacteria during slaughter is a major cause of deep-tissue contamination. The importance of such bacteria for meat hygiene depends upon their ability to survive and multiply in carcasses.

Zdravkovi ć et al. (2006) reported that, autolysis represents the intravital or post mortal disintegration of living structures, and biochemically corresponds to a loss in the system of metabolic balance with demotion of the metabolic substance which results in energy and material loss.

Bergh (2007) reported that evisceration means the removal of the viscera or internal organs from the carcass. Evisceration of the carcass should be performed within two hours after bleeding. The rumen and intestines may be removed in the field to prevent bloating.

Fernandes (2009) stated that as aesthetics, there are some very practical reasons why evisceration should not be excessively delayed. Within a few hours of slaughter, distention of the stomach and intestines make their removal without rupture difficult, and bile may stain the liver and surrounding tissue if rumen distention squeezes bile from the gall bladder.

4-Routine postmortem inspection:

Herenda et al. (2000) stated that the aim of meat inspection is to provide safe and wholesome meat for human consumption. The responsibility for achieving this objective lies primarily with the relevant public health authorities who are represented by veterinarians and meat inspectors at the abattoir stage. Routine postmortem examination of a carcass should be carried out as soon as possible after the completion of dressing in order to detect any abnormalities so that products only conditionally fit for human consumption are not passed as food. All organs and carcass portions should be kept together and correlated for inspection before they are removed from the slaughter hall.


Bergh (2007) stated that all stamps or roller marks used to mark any carcass or meat must be constructed of a nontoxic, non-corrosive material and must be so constructed as to be readily cleanable. The letters on the stamps must be readable. Colored ink is required where stamps are applied to carcasses or meat and must be manufactured of harmless, edible ingredients approved for use on foodstuffs. The stamp of approval must be kept and used under control of a registered inspector; when not in use the stamp must be secured by a registered inspector and kept in safe custody.

Amin et al. (2010) stated that carmoisine are an organic azo dyes widely used in food products, drugs and cosmetics.

Ontario (2011) stated that meat Inspection Legend: Every edible dressed carcass or part of a carcass that has passed inspection must be legibly stamped with the inspection legend before refrigeration. Only edible ink may be used to directly mark meat or products with the inspection legend.

5-Common affections:

**General body conditions: Poorness:

Herenda et al. (2000) stated that leanness (Poorness) is often observed in case of poor quality pasture and young growing animals which have had protein deficient diet. The animals are physiologically normal and the reduced fat deposits of the animal carcass are normal in color and consistency. The reduced muscle tissue is firm and of a normal consistency. The muscle color is darker than normal, and fat tissue may still be present in the orbit of the eye.

FSIS (2009) reported that a thin animal may be a normal animal with small amounts of body fat.


Ogilvie (1998) said that starvation and emaciation may be caused by a primary lack of feed or secondary to parasitism or a disease process that causes anorexia, an increase in metabolic rate, or both. Necropsy findings are diagnostic (serous atrophy of fat).

Radostits et al. (2000) stated that in domestic ruminants, cobalt deficiency results in inappetence and loss of body weight, emaciation, weakness, decreased growth, unthrifty appearance, diarrhea, and anemia.

Kusiluka and Kambarage (2006) reported that the occurrence of diseases such as helminthosis, coccidiosis, trypanosomosis, anaplasmosis, babesiosis and ectoparasitic infestations is precipitated by poor nutrition of the animals.

Barhoom and Abu Bakr (2008) recorded that, mange occurred in a flock of sheep usually accompanied by emaciation, weakness and reduced milk production.

Jibat et al. (2008) studied and determined the rate of organs and carcasses condemned and the associated annual financial loss at HELMEX abattoir in Ethiopia. Out of 2688 sheep and goats examined 188(7%) carcasses were condemned due to poor body condition for carcasses.

Kahn and Mays (2008) stated that emaciation may be associated with chronic diseases and parasitic conditions: fascioliasis in sheep, neoplasm, tuberculosis, John's disease, caseous lymphadenitis, and poor teeth and lack of nutrition. Emaciation is a postmortem descriptive term which should be differentiated from thinness. Postmortem finding include serious atrophy of fat in the carcass and organs especially the pericardial and renal fat. The fat is watery, translucent or jelly-like and hangs from the intervertebral spaces. Edema and anemia may develop due to starvation and malnutrition due to parasite infestation. On postmortem examination it is important to assess and differentiate emaciation from leanness. In case of doubt, the carcass may be held in the refrigerated room and the general setting of the carcass should be examined on the following day. If the body cavities are relatively dry, edema of muscle tissue is not present and fat is of an acceptable consistency i.e. has “set”, the carcass may be passed for food.

**Yellow fat sheep carcasses:

Yang et al. (1992) reported that carotenoids are pigments found in plants that cannot be synthesized by animals. Lutein is the only carotenoid in serum and adipose tissue of sheep, whereas cattle also store β-carotene.

Prache and Theriez (1999) found that yellowness of caudal fat at slaughter was greater in grass-fed lambs than in stall-fed lambs. And carotenoid pigments could act as biomarkers of grass-feeding in ruminants.

Herenda et al. (2000) stated that yellow fat in animals with heavy corn rations should be differentiated from icterus. To differentiate icterus from the normal color of fat of certain breeds, the sclera, intima of the blood vessels, bone cartilage, liver, connective tissue and renal pelvis should be examined. If yellow discoloration is not noted in these tissues, icterus is not present.

Priolo et al. (2002) stated that the signature of carotenoid pigments stored in the caudal fat has been used to discriminate carcasses of lambs raised on pasture from those fed concentrates. The concentration of carotenoids in perirenal fat is higher than in caudal fat. They found also that subcutaneous fat was more yellow and harder in grass fed lamb.

Ripoll et al. (2008) stated that meat from grazing animals has often been associated with yellow fat.

Vage and Boman (2010) stated that sheep carcasses with yellow fat are sporadically observed at slaughterhouses. This phenomenon is known to be inherited as a recessive trait, and is caused by accumulation of carotenoids in adipose tissue.


Herenda et al. (2000) stated that icterus is the result of an abnormal accumulation of bile pigment, bilirubin, or of hemoglobin in the blood. Yellow pigmentation is observed in the skin, internal organs, sclerae, tendons, cartilage, arteries, joint surfaces, etc. Icterus is a clinical sign of a faulty liver or bile duct malfunction, but it may be also caused by diseases in which the liver is not impaired. Jaundice is divided into three main categories. Prehepatic jaundice occurs following excessive destruction of red blood cells. Tick-borne diseases such as Babesia ovis and Anaplasmosis cause this type of icterus. Hepatic jaundice occurs due to direct damage to liver cells as seen in liver cirrhosis, systemic infections, and in chemical and plant poisoning. In sheep, jaundice may have been caused by phytogenic chronic copper poisoning. Obstructive jaundice occurs when the drainage of the bile pigment bilirubin is blocked from entry into the intestine.

Amer et al. (2002) stated that the secretion of bile pigments due to progressive cirrhosis and blocking of the bile ducts by mature flukes in sheep infected with F. hepatica led to the increase in serum bilirubin.

West et al. (2002) stated that ingestion of fresh-water blue-green algae has been reported as causing liver damage, jaundice and photosensitization in sheep.

Kozat et al. (2003) reported that babesiosis is a protozoan disease, which is generally characterized by high fever, anorexia, weight loss, ruminal atony, dyspnea and jaundice of sheep.

Agag (2004) stated that icterus were observed in sheep and goats exposed to aflatoxin.

Kusiluka and Kambarage (2006) reported that Babesia spp. infections are widespread among goat and sheep populations in Africa. The necropsy features include widespread subcutaneous and intramuscular edema, icteric carcass, thin and watery blood, yellow and gelatinous fat. The urinary bladder contains dark urine. The spleen is enlarged and the splenic pulp is soft. The gall bladder is distended and contains thick and dark bile.

Taheri et al. (2007) stated that fascioliasis mainly involves the hepatobiliary system and manifests in 2 stages: hepatic (acute, invasive) and biliary (chronic). Obstructive jaundice and recurrent cholangitis may occur in the biliary stage.

Kahn and Mays (2008) stated that sporidesmins are secondary metabolites of the saprophytic fungus Pithomyces chartarum, which grows on dead pasture litter. The sporidesmins are excreted via the biliary system, in which they produce severe cholangitis and pericholangitis as a result of tissue necrosis. Biliary obstruction may be seen, which restricts excretion of bile pigments and results in jaundice.

Tafti et al. (2008) reported that salinomycin is an ionophore compound that may be used in sheep as growth promoter or to prevent coccidiosis in these species. There are some reports with respect to the poisoning of animals with this agent used in high concentration in feed by mistake. Postmortem examination included swelling of liver with mild to moderate yellowish appearance.

Woube (2008) observed icteric liver at a rate of 0.9% in young sheep and jaundice in whole carcass was observed at a rate of 1.8% in adult sheep.

Giadinis et al. (2009) reported the pathological finding in sheep with chronic copper poisoning. The carcass was icteric, discolored liver and gall bladder and spleen were distended, while kidneys had a gunmetal color.

Kaur et al. (2009) found that Dicrocoelium dendriticum (lancet fluke) was recovered during postmortem examination from the biliary duct of 5 sheep from a flock of 250 sheep in India. The sheep showed symptoms of respiratory distress, diarrhea, severe anemia and jaundice.

Oruc et al. (2009) reported that necropsy findings in chronic Cu toxicosis include tissues that are discolored by icterus.

Edwards and Schock (2010) found that obstructive jaundice and photosensitization occurred in a 9-month-old lamb as a sequela to a diaphragmatic hernia. A loop of proximal duodenum was displaced, resulting in occlusion of the common bile duct, cholecystitis and necrotizing hepatitis.

** Rough handling injuries:

Tarrant (1989) stated that laceration and carcass bruising are the result of fighting and rough handling.

Cockram and Lee (1991) reported that greater percentage of bruised carcasses was found in lambs (71%) than in ewes (49%). A greater percentage of severely bruised carcasses were found in lambs from markets (20%) than in those direct from farms (12%). However, even assuming that each potentially traumatic event observed in the slaughterhouse caused a bruise, only about one-quarter of the bruising could have been attributed to handling problems at the slaughterhouse. 88% of all bruises were estimated to have been caused within about 24 hours of death, indicating that most bruising probably was caused by handling problems during loading on the farm, during transit and particularly at markets.

Jarvis and Cockram (1994) examined 2509 sheep carcass for bruises using logistic model to examine the effects of seven variables on the risk of bruising. More space per animal, transport on the lower deck or at the front of the vehicle, and increased handling, all increased the risk of bruising. There were some significant correlations between potentially bruising events and bruising on specific parts of the body. Significant bruising of sheep carcasses, particularly the neck and hind quarters, has been directly linked to wool-pulling and rough handling by human handlers.

Knowles et al. (1994) stated that carcass quality can be adversely affected due to bruising on transport.

Green et al. (1995) examined 3718 lambs, in England. Bruising was one of the most frequent causes of carcass rejection.

Jago et al. (1996) said that bruising of slaughter animals has both economic and welfare implications.

Edwards et al. (1997) reported that bruising occurs due to beating of animals during transportation and the use of rough vehicles. Apart from affecting carcass value, bruising has also animal welfare implications as excessive use of sticks while driving to the abattoir, mishandling of animals during loading and unloading, improper transport vehicle and at slaughter could be responsible causes. Bruising has also an implication for animal welfare as excessive use of sticks while driving animals to the abattoir is greatly responsible for this phenomenon.

Hoffman et al. (1998) reported that bruised meat cannot be used for human food. More than a fourth of all lamb bruises (27%) occur on the leg, while (17%) occur on the loin. The most common cause of bruising is grabbing sheep by the wool or by the hind leg. Use a "pet" sheep to lead them.

Rubin (1998) stated that laceration is a cut that results in a jagged wound in the skin. Lacerations can be shallow cuts or deep gashes that penetrate through muscle to internal organs and bone. A superficial laceration involves only the skin, and because there is no penetration of major blood vessels. A deeper laceration may penetrate veins or arteries, and in some cases, the blood vessel may require repair. Causes of lacerations include accidents and violence.

Gracey et al. (1999) said that recent injection sites may appear as an area of discoloration or bruising, but frequently deep intramuscular injections can only be detected as a very slight swelling or lack of symmetry in the muscle. Long standing injection sites, particularly those that incorporated an oily base, may be hard, fibrous nodules within a muscle. During meat inspection all carcasses with injection sites should be retained and judgment made according to case history, the time of treatment and laboratory results.

Herenda et al. (2000) said that bruises caused by transportation or handling are commonly found in sheep in the hind leg. Bruises and hemorrhage in the hip joint are caused by rough handling of animals during shackling.

Bendavid et al. (2001) stated that hernias emerge through preformed or acquired defects or weak areas of the abdominal wall unprotected by muscle or aponeurosis. These defects could be evolutionary or a patent umbilical defect at birth. The weakness could be an acquired scar such as umbilicus, or a poorly healed abdominal incision or scared over defect resulting from loss of part of the abdominal wall through trauma.

Chambers and Grandin (2001) reported that a physical blow or rough handling leading to bruising or other animal injury can result in parts of the carcass being condemned. Bruised meat is dark and bloody and must be removed for the carcass to pass federal inspection standards. This type of meat spoils rapidly and its appearance lacks consumer appeal.

Grandin (2001) reported that bruise results from a blood vessel hemorrhaging under the hide. The outside of the animal can appear normal even when there is a large injury under the hide.

Broom (2003) said that measurements of injuries, bruises, mortality, morbidity and carcass quality are often used as indicators of welfare during handling and transportation. Mortality records give information about welfare during the journey, while bruises, scratches, blemishes, broken bones and incidences provide information about the welfare of the animals during handling, transportation and lairage. It is observed that hitting animals by stock handlers and vehicle obstruction due to rough driving increases injuries in transported animals.

Jutzi (2004) stated that on postmortem examination, carcasses affected with local bruising are approved after being trimmed. Carcasses affected with bruises or injuries associated with inflammatory lesions are also approved if tissue reaction does not extend beyond the regional lymph nodes. The affected area should be condemned. When bruises or injuries associated with systemic changes and the wholesomeness of the musculature is lost, the carcass must be condemned.

St Jean and Anderson (2004) stated that inguinal hernia is relatively common in rams. Scrotal hernia is merely an extension of an inguinal hernia. Congenital inguinal hernia is rare but it may result in evisceration at castration. Acquired inguinal hernias occur in mature rams.

Eppleston (2005) studied lesions at the site of vaccination in New Zealand. The prevalence of lesions observed in the slaughter survey was 18% for mutton and 65% for lamb carcasses.

Dehghani and Nasrollahy (2006) reported that traumatic ventral abdominal hernia is common in sheep. Acquired abdominal hernia may result from trauma such as vehicle accident and horning injuries. Hernia contents were variable and consisted of omentum, small intestine, spiral colon and abomasum.

Goelz (2006) said that broken legs are generally the most obvious of sheep injuries. The prognosis depends on its location, severity and the age of sheep. Contaminated bones do not heal. In the case of lambs amputation may be an option but three legged lambs will have a severely docked carcass as the muscle development is not uniform.

Southern et al. (2006) stated that physical, microbial, and environmental hazards during the transportation process may adversely affect the safety and quality of meat. Additionally, the stress level in animals can be raised by transportation conditions, potentially causing increased pathogen shedding in carrier animals which exposes other animals to possible contamination.

Aitken (2007) said that scrotal hernias can cause infertility in rams owing to raised intrascrotal temperature. Inguinal hernias are usually a consequence of raised intraabdominal pressure, as might occur among lambs on artificial or highly fermentable diets. The pressure is believed to force intestinal loops through the inguinal ring to become visible as a swelling at the groin and inner thigh. Ventral abdominal hernias usually occur in the later stages of pregnancy.

Al-Sobayil and Ahmed (2007) examined 44 clinical cases of sheep suffering from abdominal, umbilical, inguinal or scrotal hernias in Veterinary Teaching Hospital, College of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Qassim University, Saudi Arabia. These animals had abdominal (30), umbilical (6), inguinal (7) and scrotal (1) hernias. The results revealed that, gender had an effect on the incidence of hernia. The incidence of abdominal hernia was higher in females and the incidence of inguinal hernia was higher in males.

Jibat et al. (2008) estimated the annual financial loss due to organ and carcass condemnation at HELMEX abattoir in Ethiopia. They attributed 40% of losses to human mistakes either during transportation of animals to the slaughterhouse or in the slaughterhouse during slaughter operation. Bruising caused more than half of all carcasses condemned.

Al-Sadi and Younis (2010) recorded the prevalence of naturally occurring oral lesions in 1130 sheep in Mosul, Iraq. The prevalence of broken mouth was 5.84%.

Grandin (2010) reported that extensive bruising is often caused by grabbing sheep by their wool or trampled in a truck during transport.

Jackman and Hathaway (2010) determined the average prevalence of wounds and bruises in adult sheep recorded by meat inspectors (2001 to 2010) is 2.65%.

Warriss (2010) reported that carcass damage can take the form of bruising and hemorrhages, bruised meat therefore looks unsightly and usually trimmed, reducing yield as well as frequently leading to downgrading. The coast of this downgrading may be greater than the value of the trimmed meat. In term of quality, in red meat species bruising is an aesthetic rather than a hygiene problem.

Chaudhry et al. (2011) predicted animals can get wounded at the farm, during transportation, or at the abattoir by getting strike against some hard object, kicked by another animal or by goads.

**Pyogenic affections: Abscess:

Fetcher (1983) stated that septicemia or extension of an umbilical vein infection can cause liver abscesses in lambs.

Braun et al. (1995) found that a two-year-old White Alpine ram with suppurative pleuropneumonia and a lung abscess.

Rodwan (1996) reported that abscess disease of sheep, commonly known as Morel's disease (caused by Staph. aureus subsp. anaerobius) and caseous lymphadenitis known as pseudotuberculosis (caused by C. pseudotuberculosis) deserves interest because of its contagious nature and worldwide distribution. de la Fuente et al. (1997) reported an outbreak of abscess disease caused by Staph. aureus subsp. anaerobius occurring in a 250 Assaf sheep flock located in Salamanca, Spain. Clinical cases were first detected 3 weeks after shearing which considered risk factor most probably associated with the outbreak.

Nagaraja and Chengappa (1998) reported that erosion of the ruminal epithelium secondary to grain overload, lactic acidosis and ruminitis is thought to be the most common mechanism allowing bacteria like Fusobacterium necrophorum colonization of the liver.

Edwards et al. (1999) investigated the feasibility of using information about the health and management of lambs on farms to predict the risk of gross abnormalities at postmortem meat inspection, 6732 lambs from 30 different farms in Great Britain were followed through to slaughter in 1995/6. One of the most common abnormalities found during postmortem inspection was abscesses (30%). The farm-level risk factors associated with abnormalities at slaughter varied with the type of lesion. The most significant risk factor was the age of the lambs at slaughter. Lambs slaughtered at an older age were more likely to have an abnormality, especially abscesses.

Herenda et al. (2000) stated that grassland in many parts of Africa contains scattered grasses with spear-like seeds. These seeds may penetrate through the wool and skin to the subcutis, and further through to the abdominal wall into the abdominal cavity of sheep causing abscessation.

Moller et al. (2000) reported that the occurrence of abscess disease & caseous lymphadenitis in sheep in Denmark. Subcutaneous abscesses were observed in imported 4-5 months old lambs of the Lacaune breed 10 days after arrival in Denmark. Abscesses were mostly located in the head, neck and shoulder regions close to the regional lymph nodes. Bacteriological examinations revealed growth of Staph. aureus subsp. anaerobius in all animals with subcutaneously located abscesses containing a viscous white-yellow odorless mass. In addition, C. pseudotuberculosis was isolated from abscesses in one animal.

Teixeira et al. (2001) stated that the presence of granulomas produced by adult trematodes, their eggs or even their remnants in the liver portal triads act as foci for colonization of Staphylococcus species, which in the presence of staphylococcal bacteremia might be implicated in the formation of pyogenic liver abscesses.

Navarre and pugh (2002) said that liver abscesses can occur in feedlot lambs and other animals fed ration high in grain. Most cases of liver abscesses are an incidental finding but rarely weight loss, anorexia, depression and decreased production (grown, milk) may occur.

Al-Qudah and Al-Majali (2003) studied the causal agents a total of 337 liver abscesses of Awassi sheep that were found in different slaughterhouses in Jordan. Fifteen different bacterial species were isolated from 297 liver abscesses. No bacteria were isolated from the remaining 40 liver abscesses. Fusobacterium necrophorum biovar B were isolated from 195 (58%) abscesses. Arcanobacterium pyogenes, F. necrophorum biovar A, E. coli and Cl. perfringens were isolated from 41 (12%), 34 (10%), 30 (9%) and 17 (5%) liver abscesses, respectively. It was suggested that F. necrophorum biovar B is the most prevalent bacterium incriminated for liver abscesses in Awassi sheep.

Arsenault et al. (2003) determined the prevalence and lesions distribution of caseous lymphadenitis in sheep. A total of 451 ewes and 34 rams were selected randomly from two slaughterhouses in Quebec, Canada. Diagnosis was based on gross detection of abscesses and isolation of C. pseudotuberculosis. The prevalence of caseous lymphadenitis was ≥21%. The most-prevalent site of lesions was the thoracic cavity. The risk of carcass condemnation was significantly associated with region, body score and abscesses.

Cabrera et al. (2003) carried diagnostic surveys in National slaughtering plants in Uruguay in1998 on sheep. Out of 2035 animals examined, abscesses (0.4%) in the liver parenchyma were found.

Asrat (2004) stated that occasionally the worms penetrate the bile duct wall into the liver parenchyma causing liver abscesses.

Babiker and El Sanousi (2004) studied the relation of fattening to abscess disease in sheep in Sudan. The incidence of the disease was found to be higher in feedlot areas (62.5%) compared to natural grazing areas (5.8%). Pus, sweat and serum samples were collected from both fat and non-fat sheep. Bacteria isolated from pus samples of feedlots were Staph. aureus subsp. anaerobius (75%), Corynebacterium spp. (15.8%), mixed infection of Staph. aureus subsp. anaerobius and Corynebacterium spp. (8.3%) and 2.5% of samples were bacteriologically negative.

Ghadrdan-Mashhadi et al. (2006) studied the occurrence of liver abscesses and bacterial agents caused them in 576 sheep slaughtered in Ahvaz abattoir in Iran in 2005. 50 sheep (8.7%) had liver abscesses. The rate of liver abscesses in male and female was 5.9% and 11.4%, respectively. Most of the abscesses found in the right lobes (60%) and in diaphragmatic surface (60%) of the livers due to being more exposure of these parts to the portal vein blood stream. The following bacteria were isolated: A. pyogenes (23 cases), Staph. aureus (22 cases), Cl. teteni (9 cases), E. coli (9 cases) and P. aeruginosa (1 case). In six cases, the abscesses were sterile. The presence of these isolated bacteria indicated abscesses forming following ruminitis and reaching bacterial flora from rumen to liver. They concluded that, liver is particularly susceptible to abscesses because it receives blood from several sources, including the hepatic artery, the portal system and the umbilical vein in fetus and neonate.

El-Dakhly et al. (2007) reported that liver abscesses may occur as a result of entrance of pyogenic cocci or other well organized pus-producing species to the liver through different routes. These microorganisms play a central role in the generalized and fatal disease.

Johnson (2007) reported that Rhodococcus equi is a pleomorphic, Gram’s-positive obligate intracellular bacterium most commonly residing in the soil where there are abundant avian or herbivore feces. Rhodo. equi is a common pathogen in foals and has also been documented to cause abscessed lymph nodes in sheep.

Bell (2008) stated that tuberculosis and caseous lymphadenitis are both contagious conditions that potentially lead to lung abscesses. Tuberculosis is a rare condition in sheep but has been found in animals aged two years and older that have had close contact with TB-infected cattle.

Jibat et al. (2008) recorded the rate of organs and carcasses condemned and the associated annual financial loss at HELMEX abattoir in Ethiopia in the period from December 2005 to June 2006. Out of 1152 sheep examined, 214 (7.9%) hearts and 188 (7%) carcasses were condemned. One of the major causes of condemnation was abscess in heart (4.2%).

O'Reilly et al. (2008) stated that abscesses may develop from any case of suppurative pneumonia with possible pathogens including Staphylococcus spp. and Streptococcus spp.; Infection by Corynebacterium ovis also has been recorded which typically presents as sub-clinical, with abscesses in the lungs and associated thoracic (bronchial and mediastinal) lymph nodes.

Woube (2008) determined the major diseases of organ and carcass condemnation and the magnitude of the direct losses attributed to the condemned organs and carcasses from 114 sheep (50 adult & 64 young) slaughtered in HELIMEX abattoir, Ethiopia during the period of December 2007 to April 2008. Abscessation in liver was observed at a rate of 2(1.8%), including adult 7(6.1%) and young 1(0.9%); While generalized abscessation was observed at a rate of 1(0.9%) in adult sheep.

Ivanovic et al. (2009) stated that it is possible the dissemination of bacteria through blood consequently with abscess development in lungs, liver and kidneys.

Al-Sadi and Younis (2010) investigated the prevalence and pathology of naturally occurring oral lesions in 1130 sheep in Mosul area, Iraq. The prevalence of oral abscesses was 0.18%.

Clement et al. (2010) detected abscesses in 1.04% out of 1763 sheep slaughtered in the period (2000-2005) at the Zango abattoir in Zaria, Kaduna State, Nigeria.

88.38% of the affected organs were trimmed while 11.6% whole organs were condemned. de la Fuente et al. (2010) stated that Staph. aureus subsp. anaerobius, a microaerophilic and catalase-negative bacterium, is the etiological agent of abscess disease, a specific chronic condition of sheep and goats, which is characterized by formation of necrotic lesions that are located typically in superficial lymph nodes.

El-Tahawy (2010) monitored prevalence of abscesses among 10,080 Barki sheep belonging to 22 farms in Egypt. The results showed that the overall prevalence of abscesses in adult sheep was 16%, with the greatest prevalence of the disease in the spring. He estimated abscesses cost as 21 Egyptian pounds for rams and 15.6

Egyptian pounds for ewes. These disparities in cost were attributable to the differences in weight between the genders.

Jackman and Hathaway (2010) stated that the most common abnormalities detected in the hepatic lymph nodes include enlargement, abscessation and calcification.


Vautor et al. (2005) reported that Staph. aureus is a pathogen that causes a syndrome of lamb pyemia/septicemia.

Kahn and Mays (2008) reported that pyemic abscesses are common in joints but may be found in virtually any organ. The cause is Staph. aureus which has been isolated consistently from superficial and deep-seated lesions.

FSIS (2009) reported that pyemia is a condition of public health significance resulting from the active circulation of pyogenic organisms in the blood. It is typically characterized by the development of acute suppurative lesions throughout the carcass tissues and organs.

Marianelli et al. (2010) reported a rare case of generalized bovine-type tuberculosis in a slaughtered 4-year-old ewe discovered during routine surveillance at an abattoir. A postmortem examination revealed lesions in the ewe's thoracic and abdominal cavities, ranging from encapsulated, mineralized foci to extensive, soft, caseous tissue. Lesions in the lungs, liver, and lymph nodes were consistent with mycobacterial infection. Acid-fast bacteria, characterized as Mycobacterium bovis, were isolated from lesions following 38 days of incubation.

Caseous lymphadenitis:

de la Fuente et al. (1993) reported that Staph. aureus subsp. anaerobius, is the etiological agent of abscess disease, cause a specific lymphadenitis of sheep and goats.

Paton et al. (1994) stated that caseous lymphadenitis is one of the most prevalent diseases of sheep in Australia, and as a consequence, has an economic impact due to reduced wool production by infected animals and condemnation of carcasses and skin in abattoirs.

Pepin et al. (1994) reported that caseous lymphadenitis is a chronic disease of sheep and goats caused by C. pseudotuberculosis. It is characterized by abscesses in lymph nodes, subcutaneous tissue and other organs.

Peel et al. (1997) stated that C. pseudotuberculosis produces lesions similar to those of tuberculosis. It is known world-wide to cause pseudotuberculosis or caseous lymphadenitis in adult sheep. Usually the large superficial lymph nodes are affected but occasionally abscessation of the nodes of the internal organs may also occur. Severe economic losses result from unthriftiness and death of some sheep and from condemnation of infected carcasses at slaughter.

Al-Rawashdeh and Al-Qudah (2000) studied the effect of shearing on the incidence of caseous lymphadenitis in a total of 876 sheep from five flocks in North Jordan. They concluded that the prevalence of caseous lymphadenitis increases with age and the incidence increases only in young and aged sheep after shearing under unhygienic conditions.

Herenda et al. (2000) said that postmortem finding in caseous lymphadenitis included caseous abscesses in the superficial lymph nodes, carcass musculature and firm and dry abscess in the kidney and other organs. In the early stages of the disease there are soft pasty abscesses that change to firm and dry with a characteristic laminated appearance in the later stages of disease.

Cetinkaya et al. (2002) estimated the prevalence of caseous lymphadenitis in sheep slaughtered at the local abattoir in Elazig province, Turkey. Among 2,046 sheep carcasses examined 89 abscessed lymph nodes were collected. Corynebacterium spp. strains were isolated from 81.4% of the abscesses. The prevalence was 3.5% in sheep.

Prescott et al. (2002) said that the optimal method of control of caseous lymphadenitis of sheep caused by C. pseudotuberculosis is eradication of infection by identification and removal of infected carrier animals.

Cabrera et al. (2003) detected caseous lymphadenitis in 3% of the liver parenchyma among 2,035 sheep slaughtered in Uruguay.

Paton et al. (2003) studied 223 sheep flocks in Australia to estimate the prevalence of caseous lymphadenitis. They estimated the prevalence as 26%.

Yosefbiagy et al. (2004) identified the causative agent of caseous lymphadenitis in pre-scapular lymph nodes of sheep, bacteria isolated included C. pseudotuberculosis (79.3%), Arcano. pyogenes (9.4%), Staph. aureus (7.5%) and Strept. alphahemolytica (3.8%).

Dorella et al. (2006) stated that C. pseudotuberculosis is the etiological agent of caseous lymphadenitis, a common disease in small ruminant populations throughout the world. Once established, it is difficult to eradicate because drug therapy is not effective and because the clinical detection of infected animals is of limited efficiency.

O'Reilly et al. (2008) stated that caseous lymphadenitis is an infectious disease of sheep caused by C. pseudotuberculosis. It is prevalent in most sheep producing countries and was introduced into the UK sheep population in 1991. The pathogen invades the host through epithelium and forms an abscess in the local draining lymph node. Typically, disease presents as clinical, swollen lymph nodes (the parotid, submandibular, prefemoral, prescapular, popliteal or mammary) or sub- clinical, with abscesses in the lungs and associated thoracic (bronchial and mediastinal) lymph nodes.

Al-Gaabary et al. (2009) examined 977 sheep to determine epidemiological, clinical and preventive measures associated with caseous lymphadenitis. The prevalence was (23.33%) in sheep. The disease prevalence was significantly higher in females (19.67%) than in males (12.42%). Higher prevalence was recorded in animals of the age group from 1 to 2 years (47.36%) followed by animals of the age group over 2 years (18.69%) and lastly of the age group under 1 year (3.07%). The clinical picture appeared in the form of enlargement and abscessation of the superficial lymph nodes. Parotid lymph nodes were the most commonly affected nodes in sheep. The superficial lymph nodes of the anterior body half showed the highest infection rate. C. pseudotuberculosis was detected in (90.07%) of the clinically infected cases. The disease was significantly higher in private flocks (45.52%) than in governmental flock (1.59%). Control measures using penicillin at day zero of shearing in addition to disinfection of shearing instrument and wounds greatly reduced the disease.

Ferrer et al. (2009) suggested bacteriological examination of urine culture for isolation of C. pseudotuberculosis to detect subclinically affected animals.

FSIS (2009) stated that caseous lymphadenitis is a disease of sheep and goats caused by the C. pseudotuberculosis. Postmortem findings may include, enlarged abscessed lymph nodes with greenish white-yellow caseous exudate, which tends to become dry and granular, cross-sections of lesions contain remnants of connective tissue capsules (resembles the concentric rings seen on the cut surface of an onion). Lesions found in many lymph nodes, especially the subiliac, superficial cervical, deep popliteal, tracheobronchial, and mediastinal lymph nodes, as well as lungs, heart, liver, spleen, and kidneys.

Guimaraes et al. (2009) stated that C. pseudotuberculosis is the etiologic agent of caseous lymphadenitis, which is a serious, economically important problem for sheep production. They recorded highest frequency in adult animals over one year.

Al-Gaabary et al. (2010) studied some epidemiological and histopathological aspects associated with caseous lymphadenitis in 692 slaughtered sheep at Tanta abattoir, Egypt. The prevalence of caseous lymphadenitis was (26.92%).The higher prevalence was recorded in animals of the age group over 2 years (51.35%) than those from 1 to 2 years (8.84%) and under 1 year (7.5%).

Jackman and Hathaway (2010) recorded condemnation rate for those carcasses detained for caseous lymphadenitis in New Zealand, it was around (1.4%) and this includes those carcasses that display evidence of systemic involvement.


D é nes and Gl á vits (1994) recorded that Brucella ovis infection from Thirty-three out of the 55 pairs of epididymides and testicles (60%) showed gross lesions (chronic epididymitis associated with the formation of spermatocele, sperm granuloma or abscess).

Greig (2000) stated that orchitis in rams can be caused by different bacteria and often lead to subnormal fertility or infertility.

Chand et al. (2002) recorded cases of epididymo-orchitis caused by Brucella melitensis in breeding rams in India. Clinical examination of the rams revealed a marked enlargement and pendulous appearance of the scrotum. The capsule of the testis was markedly thickened and fibrous adhesions were seen between the skin, tunica dartos and visceral and parietal layers of tunica vaginalis. A few abscess- like structures were visible on the serosal surface of the cauda epididymis.

West et al. (2002) stated that epididymitis caused by Actinobacillus seminis, Brucella ovis, or Histophilus ovis has been observed in ram lambs as young as 6 months of age with swollen testes and gross pathology includes abscesses in both the epididymis and testes.

Gouletsou et al. (2004) found that in orchitis associated with Arcanobacterium pyogenes the salient post-mortem findings were initially, subcutaneous edema, fluid in the vaginal cavity, congested and distended vessels, increased size of the genitalia and a hard dark area inside the testicles; subsequently, there were changes of size of the genitalia, thickening of scrotum and tunics and presence of fibrin on the testicular surface; in the long-standing phase of the disorder, there were induration of scrotum and tunics with adhesion between the tunics and discoloration of the surface of the genitalia.

Gouletsou and Fthenakis (2006) studied orchitis associated with Arcanobacterium pyogenes. A. pyogenes was isolated from the preputial cavity and the scrotal skin of healthy rams, as well as from field cases of ovine orchitis. Intratesticular inoculation of the organism caused orchitis, by means of clinical, cytological, seminological, bacteriological and pathological examinations. Although semen quality was affected and severe histopathological changes were evident, regeneration of testicular elements were evident at the late stages of the disease.

Ferreras (2007) recorded a case of unilateral suppurative epididymo-orchitis associated with Salmonella enterica subsp. diarizonae infection is described in a 2- year-old ram. Gross lesions were characterized by severe enlargement of the scrotal contents, fibrous adhesions between testicular layers, coexistence of epididymal abscesses and foci of fibrinous exudate, and testicular atrophy.

Kahn and Mays (2008) stated that acute inflammation of the testis or epididymis may be caused by trauma, infection (fungal, bacterial, or viral), or testicular torsion.

**Congenital abnormalities: Liver:

Johnson et al. (1985) reported that congenital defects, abnormalities of structure or function present at birth, may be caused by genetic or environmental factors or a combination of both and in most cases the cause is unknown. Moreover, developmental defects may be lethal, semi-lethal, or compatible with life causing aesthetic defects or having no effect on the animal.

Aktan et al. (2001) reported that there are many kinds of described congenital abnormalities of the liver as agenesis of its lobes, absences of its segments, deformed lobes, decrease in size of lobes, lobar atrophy, and hypoplastic lobes.

Mitchell (2003) indicated that the pathology associated with fascioliasis is caused by the inflammation of the bile ducts which causes thickening of the lining and eventually leads to fibrosis that results in reduced flow of the bile and back pressure builds leading to atrophy of the liver parenchyma and cirrhosis.

Pinto et al. (2005) stated that an outbreak in sheep flock in the Azores Islands of Portugal in which more than 20% of the sheep were died due to pithomycotoxicosis (facial eczema) a hepatogenous photosensitization caused by the mycotoxin sporidesmin, after warm, humid periods during late summer and autumn. Postmortem finding included biliary fibrosis and distortion of the lobes of the liver.

Kahn and Mays (2008) stated that sporidesmins are secondary metabolites of the saprophytic fungus Pithomyces chartarum, which grows on dead pasture litter. The sporidesmins are excreted via the biliary system. Characteristic liver and bile duct lesions are seen in all affected animals whether photosensitized or not. In acute cases showing photodermatitis, livers are initially enlarged, icteric, and have a marked lobular pattern. Later, there is atrophy and marked fibrosis. The shape is distorted, and large nodules of regenerated tissue appear on the surface. In subclinical cases, livers often develop extensive areas in which the tissue is depressed and shrunken below the normal contour, which distorts and roughens the capsule. Generally, these areas are associated with fibrosis and thickening of corresponding bile ducts.

Ilha et al. (2001) recorded an outbreak of spontaneous Senecio brasiliensis poisoning in grazing sheep in the county of Mata, Brazil. Fifty-one (54.25%) out of 94 sheep were affected, and 50 animals (53.2%) died. This flock of sheep had been grazing for approximately 7 months in paddocks heavily infested with S. brasiliensis. Clinical signs included hemoglobinuria. Main necropsy findings, five sheep developed lethal acute hemolytic crisis, secondary to massive release into the blood stream of copper accumulated in the liver (hepatogenous chronic copper poisoning). Other gross findings in those animals included dark brown urine (hemoglobinuria) and swollen, friable, finely stippled or diffusely dark kidneys. The main histopathological findings included heavy accumulation of brownish pigment in macrophages identified as ceroid and rhodanine stainings, respectively. Those ceroid and copper-laden macrophages were scattered on the remnant hepatic parenchyma. Main histopathological findings in the kidneys of 5 sheep, that developed fatal hepatogenous chronic copper poisoning, included accumulation of hemoglobin and hemosiderin in epithelial tubular cells and hemoglobin casts (hemoglobinuric nephrosis). Ultrastructural changes in the liver of affected sheep included accumulation of numerous lipid droplets in the cytoplasm of the hepatocytes and lysosomes containing substances of high electron-density that corresponded to ceroid-lipofuscin in most of the cases.


Maxie (1992) stated that when a kidney is small, it may be diagnosed as renal hypoplasia or renal dysplasia. Both conditions can result in abnormally small kidneys, but in hypoplasia the kidney is histologically normal apart from its reduced size. The limited size of hypoplastic kidney is associated with a reduced number of histologically normal lobules and calyces. Renal dysplasia is broadly defined as disorganized development of renal parenchyma due to abnormal glomeruli and primitive cortical tubular epithelia.

Meyer et al. (1996) stated that compensatory kidney hypertrophy was described as a whole set of changes in the structure and function of the kidney that follows the reduction of its mass.

Ikeyama et al. (2001) found that at necropsy of renal dysplasia the kidney was markedly reduced in size, and had a granular surface and pale color. The kidney had renal papillae.

McGeady et al. (2006) stated that renal agenesis is associated with developmental failure of one or both ureteric buds. As a consequence of this failure, induction of the metanephric mass which is required for the formation of renal tubules does not occur. Survival is not threatened by unilateral renal agenesis, whereas bilateral renal agenesis is incompatible with life.

Woolf and Hillman (2006) reported that in unilateral renal agenesis individuals born with non-ectopic, solitary functioning kidneys, with contralateral kidneys which fail to form. Renal agenesis implies that the embryonic kidney has failed to begin to form.

Coats (2010) stated that compensatory hypertrophy of the kidney readily develops when one kidney is lost or congenitally defective. In the case of congenital absence of one kidney the other will be found homogeneously enlarged, and weighing nearly the same as the two normal kidneys together. The different regions of the kidney bear the same relations to each other, each being enlarged in its due proportion. The function of the kidneys is also completely carried out by the single one.


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Significance of abattoir finding among slaughtered sheep
Cairo University  (Faculty of veterinary medicine)
Hygeine & control of meat & its products
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Mahmoud Adel (Author), 2013, Significance of abattoir finding among slaughtered sheep, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


  • I promise every student in veterinary medicine, meat inspectors, pathologists and all veterinarians interested in Gross Pathology (Macroscopic pathology or Postmortem finding) in sheep slaughtered in slaughterhouses, you will have a Coloured Atlas of necropsy lesions.

  • guest on 11/23/2014

    د.أحمد بعد السلام عليكم أسال الله أن ينفعنا بعلمك وأتمنى لك المزيد من النجاح والتوفيق وأتمنى أن أنتفع منها فى رسالة الماجستير الخاصة بى ,,,د. الوادى الجدىد
    صلاح عبد العال

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