- Bruising of the carcase is caused by injury. External blunt trauma results in bleeding and muscle discolouration.
- Depending on the severity of bruising, entire areas could be trimmed, reducing carcase weight.
- Bruising is a condition of animal welfare importance.
- Bruising is estimated to cost industry millions of dollars in losses.
- Bruising may be caused by many agents, including dog bites, lifting sheep by their wool, trauma during shearing or crutching, poor handling and yard designs, and injury during transport.
- The location of bruises can give indication as to their cause.
- Poor handling and/or poor facilities are the most common factors behind excessive bruising.
- Muscle bleeding and discolouration.
- At processing the visual appearance of the lesion, without a visible open wound.
- Although bruises heal and disappear over time, they are not seen in the live animal, so there is no treatment for bruising.
- Proper yard design, handling stock calmly, minimising the use of dogs, appropriate transport loading, and consigning at least 2 weeks after shearing or other husbandry procedures.
- Gentle handling of sheep, using the principles of low-stress stock handling, reduces risk of bruising by preventing excessive sheep responses to threats entering into their ‘flight zone’ region.