Dark cutting in large ruminants: Effect of management and environmental factors


Alma Alarcón-Rojo
Daniel Mota-Rojas
Iván García-Galicia
Efrén Ramírez-Bribiesca
Adriana Olmos-Hernández
Isabel Guerrero-Legarreta


Bubalus bubalis, ante-mortem handling, river buffalo, dark cutting, transport, lairage, beef.


Objective: This review analyzes the scientific findings on the main management and environmental factors that increase
the incidence of dark cuts in the carcass of water buffalo and bovine of the Bos genus.

Design/methodology/approach: Scientific articles were obtained from CAB Abstracts, Pubmed, Scopus and Google Scholar databases. The primary search was carried out on the following keywords: Antemortem stress and handling,
dark cut, transport, antemortem rest, fasting prior to sacrifice. Detailed searches were subsequently carried out on each

Results: There are various stressors in handling and pre-slaughter procedures in ruminants. Stress in animals causes bodily injury and affects the quality of the meat, increasing dark cutting in the carcass.

Findings/conclusions: Management practices must be improved in the pre-slaughter stages, animal welfare must be ensured, and stressors must be avoided or reduced. These benefits will help to increase the level of welfare of the animals
and will avoid economic losses, due to the presence of dark cutting in the carcass.

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