The Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs has officially approved the Meyn footpad inspection system as inspection system for footpad lesions in Dutch poultry slaughterhouses. This approval makes it possible to eliminate the manual sampling, analysis and reporting of the footpad lesions per flock. The footpad inspection system was developed in close collaboration with WUR Livestock Research (Wageningen University). WUR Livestock Research and Meyn R&D performed several validation tests at different slaughterhouses in The Netherlands. Based on the final evaluation report of WUR Livestock Research and meetings with Ministry, NEPLUVI (association of Dutch poultry industries) and NVWA (Dutch food safety authority), the State Secretary of Economic Affairs has granted the official approval.
In many processing facilities the monitoring of footpad lesions is done by a manual time consuming check of two random samples of 50 feet each. A specially trained employee then scores the feet based on the Swedish score card. However, this manual check can result in inconsistencies in grading as a result of human interpretation. Furthermore, the sample size is too small to give a good statistical representation of the flock.
Integrated in the slaughtering line, the Meyn footpad inspection system automatically detects the occurrence of lesions by means of digital imaging. The control software will grade each footpad in one of three classes according to the Swedish Animal Welfare scorecard which is based on color and size of lesion. For each flock, the percentage per class is calculated and registered. All flocks are stored in a database, which can be used for creating reports.
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