University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna - Research portal

Diagrammed Link to Homepage University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna

Selected Publication:

Open Access Logo

Type of publication: Doctoral Thesis
Type of document:

Year: 2010

Authors: Eckhardt, Peter

Title: Untersuchungen über die Reliabilität der Befundrückmeldung aus der amtlichen Schlachttier- und Fleischuntersuchung und deren Auswirkung auf die Bestandsgesundheit ausgewählter österreichischer Schweinebetriebe.

Other title: A study of the reliability of slaughter feedback from official meat inspection and its effect on select Austrian hog farms status of health

Source: Dissertation, Vet. Med. Univ. Wien, pp. 95.


Köfer Josef

Sommerfeld-Stur Irene

Vetmed Research Units:
Institute of Food Safety, Food Technology and Veterinary Public Health, Unit of Veterinary Public Health and Epidemiology

Graduation date: 07.06.10

In the future, official meat inspection authorities will be required by law to register their findings in a database as well as to report to the slaughterhouse management, the farm of origin and the state authority. The study carried out at one Austrian slaughterhouse over a period of 22 months examined the reliability of meat inspection by 13 official veterinarians. It is based on an exemplary 4 of 10 findings obtained from 3,395 batches (152,520 slaughter pigs), delivered from 223 farms. Parameters, seen as relevant from a veterinarian’s point of view, like mild, moderate and severe pneumonia, bursitis, and mange were examined for comparability and repeatability of all veterinarians involved. Of all parameters elicited only mange proved suitable. Comparability of remaining data appeared unsuitable for all 13 official veterinarians due to significant deviations in their evaluation. Mild pneumonia was assessed consistently by 7 veterinarians (53.9 %), 6 veterinarians (46.1 %) showed significantly different findings, 4 of which showed a steady downward, 2 a steady upward trend. Moderate and severe pneumonia was not diagnosed steadily by anyone. Mange was diagnosed comparably by 9 official veterinarians (69.2 %), 4 veterinarians (30.8 %) showed significantly different findings over time. Bursitis was diagnosed steadily by 5 official veterinarians (38.5 %), 8 veterinarians (61.5 %) varied significantly. Since critical variations in findings obscure the factual state of the physical condition of slaughter pigs, these results can only serve in a very limited sense as indicators for health state without preceding evaluation of meat inspection authorities. The significance of well-founded and continued education will grow further with the introduction of compulsory documentation. Of those veterinarians whose reliability in the recordings of findings was a given the results were analysed by employing a Mathematical model which assessed whether the activities of 25 attending veterinarians and 223 farmers actually lead to an improvement of animal health in their livestock. Mild pneumonia was registered in 14.5 % of swine; no attending veterinarians had any influence whatsoever on the occurrence of this parameter. Farmers’ activities improved animal health on two farms (0.9 %); six farms of origin (2.69 %) showed significantly lower findings than the average of all farms. Pleurisy was ascertained in 22 % of all slaughter pigs. Through measures taken, four attending veterinarians (16 %) caused a reduction of incidents, two works managers (0.9 %) made worse, six farmers (2.69 %) improved animal health of their live stock. Seven farmers (3.14 %) showed significantly higher, 28 farms (12.6 %) lower prevalence. Pericarditis affected 4.5 % of the animals in question. On all farms of origin the condition of health remained unchanged by measures taken by veterinarians. On two farms (0.9 %) the influence exercised by farmers led to a deterioration of the health of swine, six businesses (2.69 %) showed higher, one (0.45 %) lower prevalence than on average. 6.2 % of swine showed white spots. Attending veterinarians did not influence this parameter at all. With preventive measures taken five farms (2.24 %) showed less, three farms (1.35 %) higher prevalence by the end of the 22 month term. Mange concerned 2.2 % of all slaughter pigs. The activities of one veterinarian (4 %) caused the number of incidents to double; on six farms (2.69 %) a significantly higher prevalence was registered. Whatever influence exercised, the status of health of slaughter pigs remained unchanged throughout the duration of the study.

meat inspection / carcass and organ lesions / comparability / repeatability / slaughter pigs / pathologic-anatomic changes / attending veterinarian / farmer / animal health

Publication(s) resulting from University thesis:

Eckhardt, P; Fuchs, K; Kornberger, B; Köfer, J (2009): A study of the reliability of findings obtained during meat inspection of slaughter pigs. Wien Tierarztl Monatsschr (96), 5-6 145-153.

© University of Veterinary Medicine ViennaHelp and Downloads