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Acute phase protein response during road transportation and lairage at a slaughterhouse in feedlot beef cattle

Claudia Giannetto, Francesco Fazio, Stefania Casella, Simona Marafioti, Elisabetta Giudice, Giuseppe Piccione
Journal of Veterinary Medical Science 2011, 73 (11): 1531-4
The effects of transport for 5 hr by road and lairage for 48 hr on acute phase protein in Limousine feedlot beef cattle (n = 10, 14-16 months old, body weight 620 ± 70 kg) were examined. Blood was collected at before loading, immediately after unloading and 12, 24 and 48 hr after the initiation of transportation. Serum was collected for assay of haptoglobin (Hp) and serum amyloid A (SAA), plasma was obtained for assay fibrinogen (Fb) and the white blood cell count (WBC) was determined in whole blood at each time point. A significant effect of experimental conditions on Hp, SAA and WBC was observed. In particular, this effect was found 24 hr after transport for Hp and SAA and after 48 hr for WBC. Application of a linear regression model showed a high correlation between WBC and Hp and SAA. Lairage in a slaughterhouse represents a stressful condition that can compromise animal welfare and meat quality. Monitoring of SAA with the highest sensitivity and specificity could be a useful marker of welfare condition in this period.


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