Inspection which is performed 24 hours before slaughtering is called as anti-mortem examination. 24 hours after this inspection, animal must be slaughtered.
Three types of personal safeties are needed while performing it;
- Owner safety
- Inspector safety
- Safety of the handler of the carcass
- To screen all the animals which are going to be slaughtered?
- To identify animals suffering from disease this could render carcass invalid for human consumption.
- To identify the suspected animals
- To identify animals which are being treated by antibiotics? Otherwise, drug residues will be present in the meat and cause the spread of the disease. This can be done by taking history of treatment with antibiotics.
- To identify animals suffering from reportable or exotic disease
- Reportable disease is that one which can be reported to authorities and it must be reported.
- Exotic disease is that one which is declared eradicated in a particular area and its case is seen in that area.
- To identify animals which are heavily contaminated
- To identify animals which require special care during slaughtering
- To identify the animals which could pose a threat to the person handling the carcass
- To identify animals which are suffering from a disease having no postmortem signs. E.g. rabies.
- Examination must be performed on larrage in the slaughterhouse.
- It should be performed in a well lighted area.
- First collectively inspect all the animals and then individually inspect one by one after separating the suspected ones.
- It should be performed both in rest and moving conditions.
- It should be performed from both sides and perform at an angle of 45 degree.
- Perform inspection from a safe distance to the animals.
Points to be noted:
There are 5 major points which are to be noted during the anti-mortem examination;
- Animal should be clean
- General behavior of animal
- Sign of any disease
- Any abnormality
- Nutritional status of the animal
During the observations, certain abnormalities are observed which describe the animal fit for slaughtering or not;
These include coughing, gasping, dypsnea (difficult breathing).
These include trimmers, convulsions, circling, charging at various objects, stargazing, anxiety, aggressiveness and pushing its head against the wall.
Abnormalities in Gait
These include limping and stiff walking.
Abnormalities in posture
Unable to rise (downer), animal standing tucked in, animal standing with stretched legs, head and neck extended or head turning toward one side.
Downer is the animal which lay down due to transport stress or any disease. If animal is down due to stress, it will become normal after some time and if it is due to any disease, rest will do nothing?
Abnormal discharge/ protrusion
Discharge can be nasal, ocular, auditory, oral, vaginal and rectal. Material can be mucous, purulent or serous and hemorrhagic.
There can be vaginal, rectal, and uterine prolapse.
Dystochia is an abnormality in which fetus does not come out of the body. Pregnant animals are not slaughtered.
After birth (placenta) hanging out from vulva after two hours.
Eyes or skin may be black due to black quarter disease, blue color due to gangrene, red due to inflammation and yellow due to jaundice.
Swelling of skin, enlarged joints, swelling of subcutaneous lymph nodes, swelling of udder, enlarged jaw, abdomen bloated. There will be abnormal odour due to ketosis and ammonia.