Abonyi Festus Otaka

University of Nigeria, Nigeria

Title: Foetal wastage in livestock slaughtered at Nsukka abattoir, Nigeria


"Abonyi Festus Otaka has Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM), M.Sc. and PhD in Animal Health and Production all from the University of Nigeria Nsukka. He is a registered Veterinarian and a member of the Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association (NVMA). He was awarded scholarships by the Federal government of Nigeria and the STEP-B/World Bank Project, University of Nigeria Nsukka for his Masters and PhD programmes respectively.He has been a Lecturer at the University of Nigeria Nsukka from 2005 till date. He is a co-author to a book, has attended and presented many conference papers and has eight publications in both local and international journals. His research interest is on swine nutrition and management with a bias in alternative sources of feed ingredients."


"This study was conducted to evaluate foetal losses following slaughter of food animals at Nsukka, Nigeria. Visits to the abattoir for sample collection were made six times a week for a period of three months. Foetuses were obtained from slaughtered cattle, goats and pigs. The pregnancy status of each animal was determined tentatively by visual observation and palpation of the exposed uterus after slaughter. Attempts were also made to recover embryos from dams with structures suggestive of pregnancy by flushing. The ages of recovered foetuses were determined and grouped according to the stages of gestation. Results showed that a total of 2711 animals were slaughtered within the study period. These comprised 1303 (48.06%) cattle, 756 (38.86%) pigs and 652 (24.05%) goats. The composition (%) of the females was 91.26, 49.74 and 19.90 for does, sows and cows respectively. Our findings revealed that 40.34%, 8.78% and 7.14% of these does, cows and sows were pregnant. The slaughter of these pregnant animals resulted in loss of 605 foetuses; 417 goats, 174 pigs and 14 cattle respectively. Similarly of the 78 uteri flushed, 4, 7 and 10 embryos were recovered from cattle, goats and pigs. Researchers also noted improper ante mortem inspection of animals at the abattoir during this study. Reasons advanced for slaughter of these pregnant animals included financial needs, scarcity and or high cost of feed and ignorance of the physiological status of the animals. We recommend the following measures as ways of reducing foetal wastage in Nigeria. (I) Provision of portable pregnancy diagnostic facilities at abattoirs (II) educating farmers on the economic implications of slaughtering pregnant animals and (III) enforcing the law prohibiting slaughter of pregnant animals by relevant authorities."

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