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A survey of pathological conditions in slaughtered goats at Zaria slaughter houses

S.A. Ojo

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria

Abstract
Introduction
Materials and methods
Results
Discussion
References

Abstract

The prevalence of disease constitutes a serious impediment to small animal production in Nigeria. For an effective goat disease control programme it is pertinent to have a record of common diseases prevalent in an area. The knowledge of the extent to which the public is exposed to certain zoonotic diseases through goat meat consumption is equally useful in preventive medicine. Accordingly, slaughter houses in Zaria were visited between January and December 1992 to collect information on pathological conditions found in goats slaughtered during the period. Records were kept on sex, breed, foetal wastage and on results of laboratory tests on faeces and worms collected from the disease organs. A total of 7644 goats were examined. Helminthiasis constituted 17.52%, pneumonia 4.8%, peste des petite ruminants 3.5%, and abscesses in liver, lung and kidney 3.2% of the pathological conditions noted. Of the 1200 organs infected with diseases 300 (25%) portions were slaughtered while 900 whole organs were condemned. Twenty-five whole carcasses were condemned. Foetal wastage was estimated at 16.58% of the 3057 does slaughtered. Mycobacterium sp, Salmonella sp, Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus cereus isolated from the disease organs were of public health importance. Some suggestions are made for improving the meat inspection practices of the slaughter houses and providing better education to the butchers and goat traders.

Introduction

The consumption of animal protein by the average Nigerian is very low (Olayide et al 1972; Gefu 1982). Beef meat constitutes the major source of meat consumed in Nigeria. Recently beef has become very expensive causing a shift to small ruminants particularly goats.

The prevalence of disease constitutes a serious impediment to small animal production in Nigeria by causing high mortality and low production in flocks. ILCA (1979) reported a kid mortality rate of 36.2% in Bendel State in Nigeria. Molokwu (1982) expressed doubt on the production target indicated for goats in 1986 because of the high kid mortality and high disease prevalence in Nigerian goats.

For an effective goat disease control programme it is pertinent to have a record of common diseases prevalent in an area. The knowledge of the extent to which the public is exposed to certain zoonotic diseases through goat meat consumption is also useful in preventive medicine.

Slaughter houses provide excellent opportunities for detecting diseases of both economic and public health importance. Accordingly, the present survey reports on the diseases prevalent in goats slaughtered at Zaria between January 1992 and their public health significance, and highlights the administrative problems encountered during the survey.

Materials and methods

The slaughter houses in Zaria were visited between January 1992 and December 1992. Data were collected on the pathological conditions found in goats slaughtered during the period.

Enquiries were made from the trained meat inspectors regarding formal ante-mortem examination. Hindrances to standard meat inspection and facilities provided for effective inspection were appraised. Records were kept of the sex, breed, foetal wastage, diseases encountered and approximate age of the goats. Aging was based on the method of Miller and Robertson (1959).

Post-mortem inspection was done by visual observation and palpation and by incision of suspected organs. Furthermore, specimens of disease organs, faeces and adult worms were collected for laboratory studies for definitive diagnoses.

Results

A total of 7644 goats were examined, of which 60.1% were males and 39.99% were females. Table 1 represents the disease conditions and their percentage incidence. The commonest disease conditions were helminthiasis (17.52%), pneumonia (4.80%), peste des petite ruminants (3.50%), and abscesses in liver, lung and kidney (3.2%). Table 2 shows the common causes of condemnations in the organs. Of the 1200 organs infected with diseases 25% portions were salvaged while 75% whole organs were condemned. Five whole carcasses were condemned for generalised tuberculosis and 20 goats were found dead before slaughter hence 25 whole carcasses were condemned. Table 3 shows that 507 pregnant does were slaughtered representing foetal wastage of 16.58%. The breeds were equally affected in terms of foetal wastage. The ages of these slaughtered goats ranged from 1 to 5 years.

Table 1. Disease conditions observed in slaughtered goatsin Zaria between January and December 1992.

Disease conditions

Number of

Number with disease

%

goats examined

condition

incidence

Pneumonia

7644

366

4.80

Peste de petite ruminants

7644

267

3.50

Haemonchosis

7644

948

12.40

Trichostrongylosis

7644

336

4.40

Coccidiosis

7644

38

0.50

Cysticercosis

7644

76

1.00

Abscess (liver, lung and kidney)

7644

244

3.20

Hydatidosis

7644

38

0.50

Mastitis

3057

62

2.03

Hygroma

7644

26

0.35

Cirrhosis

7644

90

0.90

Emaciation

7644

97

1.27

Mange

7644

57

0.75

Pericarditis

7644

83

1.09

Tuberculosis

7644

6

0.08

Foetal wastage

3057

98

3.20

Table 2. Common causes of organ condemnation in goats in Zaria slaughter houses (January to December 1992).

Reason forcondemnation

Organs

Portion salvaged

Whole organ condemned

Type

No.

Pneumonia

Lungs

300

120

180

Peste des petite ruminants

Intestines

55

0

55

Metritis

Uterus

24

0

24

Abscesses

Liver, lung, kidney

240

48

216

Mastitis

Mammary gland

84

0

84

Cirrhosis

Liver

60

0

60

Pericarditis

Heart

72

0

72

Splenomegaly

Spleen

24

0

24

Gastroenteritis

Abomasum, intestines

72

0

72

Tuberculosis

Lymph node, lungs, kidney, intestines

5

0

72

Caseous Iymphadenitis

Head

84

0

84

Miscellaneous

Liver, kidney, intestine, uterus

156

132

24

Total


(1200)

300

900

The laboratory study findings are shown in Table 4. Bacteria isolated included Pasteurella multocida, Salmonella spp, Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Bacillus cereus, Escherichia coli, Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis, Pseudomonas spp, Proteus spp, and Mycobacterium spp.

Table 3. Breed and sex distribution of slaughtered goats and the incidence of foetal wastage.


Breed

Sex


Pregnant does


Foetal wastage %

Bucks

Does

Red Sokoto

3771

2516

417

16.57

Kano Brown

585

383

63

16.45

Dwarf goat

231

158

27

17.08

Table 4. Bacteria cultured from condemned tissues of slaughtered goats at Zaria.

Type of bacteria

Source

Staphylococcus aureus

Udder, joints, uterus, liver, lung, kidney and Iymph nodes

Salmonella sp

Lung, intestine

Bacillus cereus

Udder, Iymph nodes

Pasteurella multocida

Lungs, uterus

Escherichia cold

Intestine, lungs

Staphylococcus epidermidis

Lung, uterus

Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis

Parotid Iymph nodes, lung

Pseudomonas sp

Uterus

Proteus sp

Uterus

Discussion

Research scientists in Nigeria have not paid sufficient attention to goat production and diseases of goats. The potential of goats as meat producers has recently been recognised in the country. It is when the diseases affecting goats are identified and their epidemiology understood that meaningful preventive and production programmes can be formulated.

This study may be valuable in the area of monitoring conditions that are public health hazards. Most of the observed conditions leading to condemnation of organs in this survey are accepted as zoonoses (Schwabe 1969)). The implication being that the public has been saved from acquiring these deadly and debilitating disease especially tuberculosis, hydatidosis and cysticercosis.

The low incidence of some of the conditions reported may indicate the less significant role they play as goat diseases in this area.

Helminthiasis, particularly haemonchosis, accounted for 12.4% of the total disease condition encountered. This certainly calls for improved control and preventive measure such as regular deworming and avoidance of fadama area for grazing. Akerejola et al (1979) estimated the economic loss due to round worms in Zaria and Kano areas in sheep and goats to be 60 million Naira.

Peste des petite ruminants (kata) which accounted for 3.5% of the disease incidences is of great economic importance. A mortality rate of 50% or more has been reported (Akerejola et al 1979). Nduaka and Ihemelandu (1973) put the mortality rate at 100% in very young goats.

Salmonella spp, Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus cereus isolated from goat organs are of public health importance. This calls for erection of modern abattoirs with laboratory and cold storage facilities. These facilities will help in ensuring that only wholesome goat meat is passed for human consumption.

The lack of ante-mortem examination by meat inspectors in this area has serious public health implications considering the zoonotic bacteria isolated from the goat organs. The high incidence (16.58%) of foetal wastage could have been reduced if there were proper ante-mortem examination. Pregnant doe recovery schemes may be pursued.

The findings of this study suggest that meat inspection practices require some improvement. The hostile attitude of the butchers and goat traders has resulted in the lenient nature of meat inspection. For example some generalised abscess conditions requiring more serious attention such as total condemnation were just trimmed off and passed for consumption.

A source of disease spread to the slaughter house workers and perhaps the community is the practice of stealing and consuming diseased meat by the slaughter house workers. It is hereby recommended that proper burning or burying of diseased meat should be mandatory. This will also reduce the incidence of consuming diseased meat by many birds and carnivorous pet animals.

Finally, education of both butchers and goat traders is necessary so that they can see the need for thorough goat meat inspection. There is need to improve hygienic conditions at the slaughter houses so as to reduce meat contamination. The butchers and goat traders should be encouraged to seek veterinary assistance for their sick animals.

References

Akerejola O.O., Schillhorn Van Veen T.W. and Njoku C.O. 1979. Ovine and caprine diseases in Nigeria. A review of economic losses. Bulletin of Animal Health and Production in Africa 27:65-70.

Gefu J.O. 1982. Socio-economic characteristics of goat producers and their husbandry practices in northern Nigeria. Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Goat Production and Disease, Tucson, Arizona, USA, 10-15 January 1982. Dairy Goat Journal Publishing Company, Scottsdale, Arizona, USA. p. 357 (abstract).

ILCA (International Livestock Centre for Africa). 1979. Small Ruminant Production in the Humid Tropics. Systems Study 3. ILCA, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. 122 pp.

Miller W.C. and Robertson (eds). 1959. Practical Animal Husbandry. 7th edition. Oliver and Boyd, London, UK. 419 pp.

Molokwu E.C.L. 1982. Goat Production in Nigeria - Prospects and Problems. National Workshop on Small Ruminant Diseases and Production in Nigeria, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria.

Nduaka O. and Ihemelandu E.C.I. 1973. Observations on pneumonia-enteritis complex in dwarf goats in Eastern States of Nigeria. Preliminary reports. Bulletin of Epizootic Diseases of Africa 21:87-89.

Olayide S.O., Olatunbosun D., Idugosie E.O. and Abiagom J.D. 1972. A Qualitative Analysis of Food Requirements, Supplies and Demands in Nigeria 1968-1995. Federal Department of Agriculture, Lagos, Nigeria.

Schwabe G.W. 1969. Veterinary Medicine and Human Health. 2nd edition. Williams and Wilkins Company, Baltimore, Maryland, USA. 302 pp.


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