Assessment on Hide Branding and Related Pre-Slaughter Defects in Benatsemay and Dasenech Pastoral Districts of South Omo Zone, Southern Ethiopia

Tegegn Tesfaye


This assessment was conducted in two selected pastoral districts, Benatsemay and Dasenech of South Omo zone with the objective of assessing the practice of hide branding and related pre-slaughter defects and finally to recommend possible measure to be taken to avoid the traditional practice that downgrade hide quality at the tannery level. A total of 130 pastoralists, 75 pastoralists from four selected kebeles of Benatsemay and 55 pastoralists from three selected kebeles of Dasenech districts were participated in questionnaire survey of this study. A total of 5,590 cattle of different age groups and both sex owned by pastoralists who selected for questionnaire survey as well as that of pastoralists not selected for questionnaire survey were observed at the field level for the extent of hide branding and other pre-slaughter defects. Out of 130 pastoralists participated in questionnaire survey, 127 (98%) apply hide branding on their animal for skin and other infectious diseases prevention (94.48%), for identification (100%) and as cultural trends (3.9%). Although hide branding is the most extensive practice observed on cattle, there are also other pre-slaughter defects such as scratches (2.98%), horn marks (1.06%), damage by sharp objects (0.29%) and damages due to unknown cases (1.85%) that can downgrade cattle hide. During the survey, the herds owned by the pastoralists in the study area were visually observed for the presence of hide branding on their body parts. These visual observations were done before the releases of the herd to grazing land at the morning. Accordingly 650 bulls, 1300 ox, 1950 cows, 1040 heifers and 650 calves owned by the pastoralists were observed during the survey. During field observation for hide branding, 642 (98.72%) bulls, 1235 (95%) ox, 1832 (93.94%) cows, 960 (92.30%) heifers and 613 (94.30%) calves were branded from the total herd. Even though the study districts have large number of cattle population, their output especially hide produced by the community were not supplied to the local market due to lack of awareness about the advantages of hide other than household use, lack of market channel in the area and lack of extension service that promote its production. Therefore strong linkage between extension service and the pastoralists will be needed to fully exploit this resource and to avoid the constraints faced with the product such as traditional practices like hide branding and other pre and post slaughter defects that can downgrade the hide.

Keywords – branding, hide, pre-slaughter defects, pastoralists, cattle, Benatsemay, Dasenech

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