Evaluation of muscle tissue and liver glycogen of cattle submitted to transport over long distances and subjected to emergency slaughter

ABSTRACT The study evaluated the effect of transportation over long distances on cattle muscle tissue of submitted to emergency slaughter in slaughterhouses in northern Tocantins, Brazil. The evaluations consisted in pH, muscle and liver glycogen, muscle histopathology and creatine kinase (CK), alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) activity. Animals were placed into two groups: Experimental Group (EG), consisting of 19 bovines intended for immediate emergency slaughter, and Control Group (CG), composed of 24 bovines slaughtered in accordance with the normal flow. CK and ALT levels were high in EG. AST did not differ between groups. EG showed higher muscle pH and mean of degenerate fibers, mainly on the intercostal. However, muscle and liver glycogen did not differ between groups. In conclusion, cattle transported over long distances and subjected to immediate emergency slaughter showed markedly stress condition, with changes in biochemical parameters in the muscle tissue, determined by cellular degeneration.