A preliminary work was conducted to assess the prevalence of rumen foreign body and identify the type of foreign bodies in small ruminants slaughtered at the Addis Ababa municipality abattoir from November to March 2008. A total of 697 sheep and goats rumen was examined for the presence of indigestible foreign bodies. Of the total animals examined sheep and goats accounted for 311 (44.6%) and 386 (55.4%), respectively. The overall prevalence of rumen foreign bodies were found to be 23.2% (n= 162). Of these 86 (53.1%) were sheep and 76 (46%) were goats. The study revealed a higher presentation of females 116 (71.6%) than males 46 (28.4%) of both species. Plastic bags were recovered as the most common foreign bodies. Other foreign bodies retrieved were leather 30 (4.3%), rope 3 (0.4%), hair ball 2 (0.3%), and paper 2 (0.3). The weight of the foreign bodies removed was from 100 to 2000 gram. Sex and age were found to have a significantly higher (p<0.05) interaction with ruminal foreign body. The condition was found to occur more frequently in females at 3-4 years of age. It has been evidenced that body condition also has a significant association with the weight of the foreign body. The weight of the foreign body recovered was significantly higher (p< 0.05) in emaciated and thin ovine female. Results of this preliminary work indicated that the prevalence of rumen foreign body is higher in small ruminant species. The most likely reasons would be shortage of forage during the long dry season and increased pollution of grazing land mainly by plastic bags and other garbage materials.
Keywords: Abattoir, Rumen foreign bodies, sheep and goats