Associations between animal traits, carcass traits and carcass classification in a selected abattoir in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa
In this study the associations between animal traits, carcass traits and carcass classification within cattle, sheep and pigs slaughtered in a high throughput abattoir were determined. Classes of carcasses from cattle, sheep and pigs delivered for slaughter at this abattoir were recorded and analysed. Significant associations were found between carcass classes and breeds of all livestock species. Of all the cattle delivered to the abattoir, the non-descript ones dominated the AB2 category while the Bonsmara and Brahman dominated the C categories. Almost 70% of carcasses of the cattle delivered to the abattoir were in the C classes. In the sheep, the dominant category was A2 with a percentage of 77%, and the Dorper was the most dominant in this category. In pigs, the P class was the most dominant with about 50%, and the Duroc X Landrace cross dominated this category. However, significant associations between sex and carcass classes were only found in cattle. Warm carcass mass had significant associations with carcass classes of cattle and sheep only. It can be concluded that while associations between carcass classes and breeds were found in all species, associations between sex and carcasses were dependent on species.
Keywords: Livestock breeds, sex, warm carcass mass