Injection site lesions in UK cattle; is there a relation with vaccination?

Cresswell L, J. Remnant, Andrew Butterworth, Wapenaar W

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference Abstractpeer-review


Injection site lesions are a cause of concern not only in terms of financial loss due to carcase waste, but also for animal welfare reasons, and because of the implications to human health regarding the possibility of lesions entering the food chain. A questionnaire-based study was used to collect data from farmers about their vaccine usage in beef animals, including the site and route of administration and information about needle hygiene. This was compared with data collected from abattoirs on injection site lesion type and distribution. Out of 72 respondents, 56% were using the subcutaneous route of administration for vaccines, and 40% were using the intramuscular route. The majority of these intramuscular injections were administered in the rump, whereas the majority of subcutaneous injections were administered in the neck. Out of 69 respondents, 6% of respondents were using a new needle between each animal.
Approximately 2,800 carcases were examined at four different slaughterhouses in the UK. Eighty one injection site lesions were found, 72% of which were in the rump.
This study suggests that vaccines are not important contributors to injection site lesions, due to the site and route of administration of vaccines being different to the predominant pattern of injection site lesions found at abattoirs. However, the findings of this study raise issues of inappropriate needle usage when injecting animals and suggest that there are practical measures that could be implemented to reduce the risk of injection site lesions occurring in food producing species. These measures will likely have a positive impact on farm profitability, animal welfare and the quality of food animal products.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2015
EventBCVA - Southampton, Southampton, United Kingdom
Duration: 15 Oct 201517 Oct 2015


Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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