Camel slaughtering practices and meat production in Eastern Ethiopia
This study was conducted in Ethiopian Somali (Jigjig and Shinile Zones) and Afar regions from April to June 2012 to assess camel slaughtering practices and camel meat processing and preservation technologies in the regions. The result of this study revealed that 89% of camels slaughtered in Jigjiga and Dire Dawa municipal slaughter houses had score of two body condition score (BCS) which indicates poor body condition of the slaughter camels. In these slaughter houses, camels were slaughtered first by immobilizing the camel by cutting the hind leg at the Achilus tendon. Then the animal becomes immobile and guided to slaughtering floor to cut its throat. Subsequently, flying, evisceration and dressing undertaken. Then the meat was transported to butcher house. The butcher house could sell the meat either fresh or traditionally process and preserve it. Preservation of meat was conducted by boiling the meat to reduce the water content as well as to reduce the water activity of the meat. Butter was also added while boiling to enhance flavor and eating quality of the product. This preservation method was common in Ethiopian Somali region among Somali tribes and the preserved camel meat is called Mukmud or Muremure. This product is claimed to have up to six months shelf life. While slaughtering camel, the animal was suffering from an excruciating pain from broken cut hock as well as from the act of cutting the throat. Therefore, camel slaughtering practice in Somali Region and Dire Dawa Administrative region was not follow ethical animal slaughtering practice and breach animal welfare protection law. To curb this problem, immediate interventions need to be taken to stop such cruel act of cutting the legs of live animal while the animal is conscious and feel the pain. There was no practice of cutting Achilles tendon in Afar region.
Keywords: Animal welfare Meat preservation Muremure
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