Slaughter practices and composition of Dromedary Camel (Camelus dromedarius) meat in relation to age and body condition in Eastern Ethiopia

Ali Seid, Mohammed Kurtu, Mengistu Urge


This study was conducted to monitor the camel slaughtering practices, and evaluate meat composition in relation to age and body condition of camels. Fifty-four male Issa type camels of three age groups: group 1 (6-10 years), group 2 (11-17 years) and group 3 (? 18 years) where each age group classified to three body condition groups (poor, medium and good) were sampled from camels slaughtered at Dire Dawa abattoir. The camels were monitored for slaughtering practices and their meat compositions were investigated following standard procedures. The results showed that camels were slaughtered inhumanly violating many of the basic requirements of humane and halal (permitted) slaughtering, including cruelly cutting Achilles tendon of hindlegs, severing the neck with more than one stroke, and sharpening knives and performing slaughtering in front of camels waiting for slaughter. Muscle, bone, and fat proportions were 54.9, 25.5, and 19.6%, respectively. Proportions of muscle (P<0.0008) and bone (P<0.004) decreased, but fat (P<0.0001) increased with age and body condition. The moisture, ash, crude protein (CP), and lipid contents were 78.3, 2, 20.14, and 9.45%, respectively. The ash (P<0.0074) decreased and lipid (P<0.05) increased with age. Moisture (P<0.05) and CP (P<0.0028) decreased, but lipid (P<0.0001) increased with body condition. Generally, all age groups of camels provide meat with comparable moisture and CP contents, but higher ash, lower lipid and fat proportion were found in camels aged 6-10 years. Camels in poor and medium body conditions provide meat with higher moisture, CP and muscle than good condition camels. Thus, camels aged 6-10 years at medium body condition could provide better nutritive value with less health risk associated to fat. To meet essential demands of meat consumers and future export market, the abattoir should design and adopt basic requirements of humane and halal slaughter.

Keywords: Camel meat, physical composition, chemical composition, slaughtering

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