Foetal Wastage in Cattle, Camel, Sheep and Goats in Birnin Kebbi Modern Abattoir, Nigeria

Published on: 2/14/2019
Author/s :
Summary

Author details:

1 National Veterinary Research Institute, Bulasa- Birnin Kebbi-Nigeria; 2 Ministry of Agriculture and N/Resources, Kebbi State; 3 Diagnostics & Extension Division, National Veterinary Research Institute, Vom; 4 Ministry of Agriculture and N/Resources, Katsina State; 5 Ministry of Animal Health and Fisheries Development, Niger State; 6 Ministry of Animal Health and Fisheries Development, Sokoto State; 7 Dept. of Microbiology and Pathology, Faculty of Vet. Medicine, A.B.U- Zaria.


Foetal wastages due to indiscriminate slaughter of pregnant Cattle, Camel, Sheep and Goats at the Birnin Kebbi Modern Abattoir were investigated over a period of twelve months (July 2009 – June 2010). A total of 11,259 animals were slaughtered during the reporting period comprising of {7,260(64.5%) males and 3,999(35.5%) females}. Of this number, 3,959{3734(94.5%) males, 225(5.7%) females} were cattle, 303 {264(87.1%) males, 39(12.9%) females} camel, 3,073 {1561(50.8%) males, 1,512(49.2%) females} sheep and 3,924 {1701(43.3%) males, 2223(56.7%) females} goats. With average monthly slaughter of 329 heads of cattle, 25 camel, 256 sheep and 327 goats recorded. Of the total female animals slaughtered, percentage foetal wastages was recorded as 6.7% (15) in cattle, 5.1%(2) in camel, 29.8%(450) in sheep and 40.2%(893) in goats. Seasonal distributions indicate that there is higher tendency for the occurrence of foetal wastages in the rainy season in cattle, camel and goats; in sheep, it was higher during the dry season in Birnin Kebbi. However, there is no significant difference (p>0.05) between the slaughter of pregnant animals and rainy season. The economic loss due to slaughter of pregnant animals in Birnin Kebbi was estimated at US$1,278,544.00 (N 189,224,500.00). It is our utmost believes that ignorance on the part of farmers, butchers and policy makers on proper management of pregnant animals in abattoirs is connected with this outcome. It is our recommendations that, improved ante mortem pregnancy diagnostic protocol in abattoirs, strict policy formulation prohibiting the slaughter of pregnant animals and enhanced public awareness at the grass root be implemented.

Key words:- Foetal wastage, Cattle, Camel, Sheep, Goats, Abattoir, Birnin Kebbi

INTRODUCTION

Nigeria is the world’s most populous black nation with over 140 million people (13), however, with relatively low number of food animals to the teaming population (5). Demographic figures indicate that there are 13.9 million heads of cattle, 22.1 million sheep, 34.5 million goats and 800,000 camels in Nigeria (7). The meat and milk obtained from these animals constitute the major sources of animal protein to a greater part of the population. Hides and skin from these animals especially the Sokoto red goat which is rated world’s second best after Morocco are of economic importance. (17). The camel apart from producing meat, milk, and hide also serve as a means of transport to the populace especially in the rural areas and villages where free access roads are not motor able (11,15)). Despite these enormous role played by these food animals, their production in the country is too low to meet up with the increasing human population demands. Many factors have been attributed to the low reproductive performance of our indigenous breeds of livestock in the country. Much emphasis is laid on poor genetic composition, poor nutrition, improper management practice, diseases and lot of others (5,9). Little has been attributed to the indiscriminate and careless slaughter of pregnant animals in abattoirs which could be a major source of depletion of livestock population (4,5). The destruction of foetuses due to slaughter of pregnant animals is forbidden by law in nearly all countries of the world (6,9). Despite this law, several reports of foetal wastages were recorded in different domestic animals nationwide. In cattle, sheep and goats (1,5, 9, 12, 14,17,19,), in camel (2,3,4, 16,18). However, information is scarce on foetal wastage of food animals in Kebbi state. This study was therefore designed to document foetal wastage and estimate economic loss due to slaughter of pregnant food animals in Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi state-Nigeria.

 

MATERIALS AND METHODS

The available slaughter records of the four food animals namely cattle, camel, sheep and goats slaughtered at the modern abattoir Birnin Kebbi between the months of July 2009 and December 2009 were retrieved. Daily visits to the abattoir were then made between the months of January 2010 and June 2010 to monitor the slaughter process in which female reproductive tract were examined for evidence of pregnancy and foetuses recovered were recorded. The combined data (to make a complete one year record) were analyzed. Pre-implanted embryos were not recovered in this study. Chi-square test was used to determine association if any, between season and the slaughter of pregnant animals (Michael, 1997). May –September was regarded as rainy season, while October –April was considered dry season in this study. The economic losses (in 10 year period) due to slaughter of pregnant animals was estimated as described by Ribadu (16).

 

RESULTS

A total of 11,259 animals were slaughtered during the period of study consisting {7,260(64.5%) males and 3,999(35.5%) females} (Tables I&II). Of this number, 3,959{3,734(94.5%) males, 225(5.7%) females} were cattle, 303 {264(87.1%) males, 39(12.9%) females} camel, 3,073{1,561(50.8%) males, 1,512(49.2%)} sheep and 3,924{1,701(43.3%) males, 2,223(56.7%) females} were goats. With an average monthly slaughter of 329 heads of cattle, 25 camel, 256 sheep and 327 goats recorded. Of the total female animals slaughtered, percentage foetal wastages were recorded as 6.7% (15) wastage in cattle, 5.1%(2) in camel, 29.8%(450) in sheep and 40.2%(893) in goats (Tables I&II)

Seasonal distributions indicate that there is higher tendency for the occurrence of foetal wastages in the rainy season in cattle, camel and goats; in sheep, it was higher during the dry season in Birnin Kebbi (Table III). Despite larger number of female animals slaughtered, 3999(55.9%) in the rainy season but more foetuses were recovered in the dry season. However, there was statistically no significant difference (p>0.05) between rainy season and the recovery of foetuses in this study (Table III).

Financial loss over a 10 year period due to the slaughter of pregnant animals and recovery of 1365 foetuses in a single year (Table III) at the Birnin Kebbi Modern abattoir was estimated at US$ 1,278,544.00 (N 189,224,500).

 

 

 

 

Discussion

Results from this study suggest that foetal wastage in our abattoirs is a serious livestock production problem in this country, especially, in the small ruminant. While lower percentage of foetal wastage was reported in cattle (2.6%), sheep (4.56%) and goats (5.68%) at Bauchi (5); in Birnin Kebbi the percentage foetal wastages in food animals is high especially in sheep (29.8%) and goats (40.2%) (Table II) which is in agreement with the report of Alaku and Orijiude (1) in Maiduguri. This is an indicator that there is more ignorance on the part of farmers, butchers and policy makers on the pregnancy status of food animals before slaughter in the state. It could also be as a result of relatively high influx of transit livestock farmers from the neighbouring Niger and Benin Republic along the international livestock route into the state. In this transit, they sold off the weak, the healthy and even the pregnant animals in a quest to acquire Nigerian currency to proceed on their journey to southern part of the country for pasture. It should also be noted that the percentage foetal wastages in all the species of animals in this study would have been higher than reported if retrograde pre-implanted embryos were flushed and recovered as described by Garba and Hamman (9) who reported up to 12% and 20% embryo recovery in cattle and camel respectively at Sokoto municipal abattoir. Similarly, Bello et al (3) reported up to 22.6% embryo recovery in camel in Sokoto.

It was equally observed in this study that, of the 11,259 food animals slaughtered, 64.5% were males. The more probable reason could be due to management system, both the traditional and modern demands that a ratio of males (low) to females (high) should be maintained in any herd else production problems will ensure. Consequently, more males are sold/ slaughtered especially that males do not conceive to give offsprings. Our finding, however, is contrary to that obtained in Bauchi in which 63% (cattle), 61% (sheep) and 59% (goats) were females slaughtered ( 5).

Seasonal distribution indicates that of 3,999 female animals slaughtered, 55.9% were in the rainy season (Table III) but more foetuses were recovered in the dry season. The probable reason may be that, cost of maintenance of animals in the dry season is high especially when there is no green pasture. Consequently, animals (especially small ruminants) are allowed to scavenge for feed freely which favours free mating/conception rate, the selling of such animals in the dry season will increase foetal recovery in abattoirs. However, statistically, there was no significant difference (p>0.05) between rainy season and the recovery of foetuses in this study.

Economic loss due to slaughter of pregnant food animals and wastage of up to 1,365 foetuses in a single year over a 10 year period is enormous amounting to N 189,224,500. This is rather very high and should be noted that this is only Birnin Kebbi Modern abattoir, excluding illegal slaughtering at homes for ceremonies and other rites as well losses from other parts of the state and the country in general. Bello et al (3) reported up to N 24,960,000.00 loss over a 10 year period from camel in Sokoto, similarly, Umaru (18) estimated up to N 828,000.00 loss annually in camel in the same abattoir in Sokoto. Moreover, ECA (6) reported the slaughter of up to an average of 17,000 pregnant cows annually in Nigeria translating to a financial loss of US $14,000,000.00 (N 2,072,000,000 Naira).

In conclusion, the annual financial loss due to the slaughter of food animals in Birnin Kebbi and indeed Nigeria at large is enormous. Ignorance on the part of farmers, butchers and policy makers is connected with this outcome. It is our recommendations that, improved ante mortem pregnancy diagnostic protocol in our abattoirs, strict policy formulation prohibiting the slaughter of pregnant animals and enhanced public awareness at the grass root be implemented.

 

Acknowledgement

We are grateful to the Director of Veterinary Services Kebbi State Dr. S.D. Bello, his Deputy, Dr. Bala Kakale and the entire staff and butchers of Birnin Kebbi Modern abattoir especially, Dr. Salam, S.P, Dr. Idris, S, Mal. Umar Abubakar Nasarawa, Mal. Nura Bala S.D, and Mal. Abubakar Malami for their kind support and co-operation before and during the course of this investigation.

 

This article was originally published in Vom Journal of Veterinary Science. Vol. 8: 43-48.

Bibliographic references

 
Author/s
 
remove_red_eye 9 forum 0 bar_chart Statistics share print
Share :
close
See all comments
 
   | 
Copyright © 1999-2019 Engormix - All Rights Reserved