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Slaughterhouse survey of culled female camels (Camelus dromedarius) in southeast Algeria: Fetal wastage and pregnancy characteristics

Benaissa M.H., Faye B., Youngs C.R., Kaidi R.. 2016. Emirates Journal of Food and Agriculture, 28 (11) : p. 805-812.

DOI: 10.9755/ejfa.2016-06-735

This study determined the prevalence of fetal wastage due to slaughter of pregnant camels, and the relationship between fetal wastage and factors such as breed, season, abattoir location, and age. Pregnancy characteristics of indigenous camels were also investigated. Reproductive tracts were collected from 912 female camels at two abattoirs in southeast Algeria over 2.5 years. Before slaughter, data regarding reasons for culling were obtained. Pregnancy was detected in 21.7% of camels and was higher (P<0.05) in the Tergui than Sahraoui breed. Fetal wastage was higher (P<0.05) in the dry than wet season. Fetal wastage in the first and second trimester (57.1% of total waste) was greater (P<0.05) than that in third and fourth trimester (42.9% of total). Right and left ovaries showed equal ovulatory activity. Mean diameter of the corpus luteum (CL) was higher (P < 0.05) in females with a single corpus luteum than in those with twin or triple CL. All but one camel carried the fetus in the left uterine horn. Embryo migration was observed in 50% of pregnant camels, and migration was from the right to left uterine horn in all cases. Prevalence of embryonic and fetal loss was 10.0% and was influenced by ovulation rate. The two most prevalent reasons for culling pregnant camels were old age (23.7%) and poor body condition (11.6%). These findings document the magnitude of fetal wastage which represents substantial economic loss to the camel industry. Livestock owners should receive education on reproductive management, including pregnancy testing, to minimize fetal wastage.

Mots-clés : dromadaire; abattage d'animaux; femelle; foetus; embryon animal; corps jaune; gestation; physiologie de la reproduction; variation saisonnière; enquête; algérie; camelus dromedarius

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