The importance of subcutaneous abscess infection by Pasteurella spp. and Staphylococcus aureus as a cause of meat condemnation in slaughtered commercial rabbits


  • A. Ferreira Médica Veterinária Oficial, DGAV, DSVRC, Divisão de Alimentação e Veterinária de Coimbra, Portugal
  • J.M. Monteiro Médico Veterinário, Diretor técnico da Sumicor, chefe da cunicultura industrial da empresa Coren, Portugal
  • M. Vieira-Pinto Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro



abscess, rabbit, meat condemnation, S. aureus, Pasteurella spp.


Subcutaneous abscesses are lesions frequently reported in commercial rabbits. Both at farm and slaughterhouse level, these lesions are responsible for economic losses and a potential decrease in meat quality. The present study was devised to identify the main causes of meat condemnation in slaughtered commercial rabbits and assess the importance of abscess lesions in this domain. For these purposes, 281423 rabbits were evaluated during meat inspection at the slaughterhouse. The results achieved showed that subcutaneous abscesses were the major cause of condemnation, being responsible for the rejection of 1355 (0.48%) rabbit carcasses. The main affected area was the hind limbs (31.37%), followed by the cervical area (23.10%). Microbiological analyses of 27 abscess samples indicated Pasteurella spp. as the bacteria mostly isolated (59.3%), followed by Staphylococcus aureus (25.9%). These results enable us to advise the industry on the significance of abscesses as an important cause of economic losses, due to meat condemnation during post mortem inspection, and highlight the importance of implementing monitoring plans as a way to control this pathological problem.


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Author Biography

M. Vieira-Pinto, Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro

Departamento Ciências Veterinárias


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