Beef Cattle Transportation: Livestock Safety Cushion
Table of Contents
Figure 1. Placement of the Livestock Safety Cushions.
Bruising may happen at any point during production and marketing. Moving animals means they can impact on each other or some immovable object in their environment.
Dr. Temple Grandin, Animal Scientist, Colorado State University, found the MAJOR CAUSES OF BRUISING during transportation were:
Since cattle like to move from darkness to light, they may rush out of the trailer, impacting on corners and edges as they go. During unloading, as opposed to loading cattle, there is more potential for cattle to be injured (3). Most cattle bump against structures at least once during unloading (4) and are likely to hit their hips and shoulders (5). Messer recommended that gates in loading and unloading areas be padded (3).
When cattle impact against the cushion, the scroll shaped coils compress to absorb impact. The cushion rebounds after impact to the original shape. LSC always presents a rounded surface to animals even during impact.
The inside of the trailer was checked for all possible points of impact, any places showing rubbing or wear by animal contact.
13 different points of impact were found.
LSC was installed on all of these points of impact.
Figure 4. A LSC installed beside a door.
BIO's study before installation of LSC in the trailers (baseline study) established the level of bruising found on fed cattle delivered to the packer.
Figure 5. Baseline bruising amounts, as found by BIO's study; Bruising on a carcass.
Minor - weighing less than 1 pound
Figure 6. Rating of Bruising Severity in the baseline study.
Figure 7. Location of critical bruising by percent.
Frequency of Bruising
Number of bruises per animal
Figure 8. Frequency of bruising per animal.
were significantly lower in cattle transported in trailers padded with Livestock Safety Cushion compared with unpadded trailers.
Authors of the study concluded if overall bruising were reduced by 10% by use of padded trailers, the Canadian Beef Industry would save over $1 million per year. Reduction of 1.82% of bruising in the loin, the most valuable area, would reduce trim by 48 tons of loin per year (5).
This information is based on the research done by Beef Improvement Ontario, 'Tracking and Reducing Cattle and Carcass Bruising Through the Use of Management Improvement Tools - Final Report' and the PowerPoint presentation of their results.
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