Introduction to the challenge addressed
Meat quality is greatly influenced by the feeding during the fattening phase and shortly before transport. It is very important that transport is as efficient as possible. It is recommended to sell directly from the farm to the slaughterhouse. Fattened cattle do not have to pass through the livestock market before being slaughtered. The number of animals that goes to the market is very low. In Flanders ( Belgium) there doesn’t exist a livestock market any more.
During the fattening phase, an adequate amount of vitamin E in the ration is important. This has a positive effect on the meat colour (more stable red colour). Before transport, it is important to let the animals fasting. This means that less "stomach contents" are brought to the slaughterhouse, and the animals are also fitter for transport. The animals have a slightly lower temperature on arrival (about 1°C), so the carcass can be cooled more quickly. For animals that are transported at night, it is recommended not to feed them in the evening (or in the afternoon). The slaughter process will then run more smoothly and this usually has a positive effect on the carcass quality.