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1. Introduction

Kenya has an estimated population of 14 million beef cattle from which beef and beef products
are produced. The beef industry is one of fastest rising economic sectors within the agricultural
sector driven by growth of beef exports and the increases in population, urbanization and
household income. The beef cattle kept in the country zebu, Sahiwal and Boran found in the arid
and semi-arid lands (ASALS). The culls from the dairy herd contribute about 30% to the beef

The annual per capita consumption of red meat (meat and offal from cattle, sheep, goats and
camels) is approximately 15-16 kg resulting to a national average of 600,000 MT2of red meat per
year. Cattle (beef) are the main source of red meat accounting for approximately 77 percent of

Kenya‘s ruminant off-take for slaughter. The bulk (about 70%) of beef production comes from
the ASALs. There are many enterprises that can be started along the beef value chain, including
supply of inputs and services for production of beef animals and trading in live animals and

Most of the beef produced in the country is for domestic consumption, however; there are
exports to the regional markets (Uganda and Tanzania), COMESA (Democratic republic of
Congo, Mauritius, Madagascar, etc) and United Arab Emirates. The domestic meat market is
primarily urban and is stratified according to income. The local demand for beef is higher
compared to other meats. Poor beef production conditions/practices have resulted to low-quality
carcasses that cannot compete effectively on the export market. Ineffective disease surveillance
and control measures have rendered the ASALs sub-optimal for export beef production.

The major constraints to the growth of the beef industry are lack of the prerequisite institutional
framework, inadequate research based on ecological potential for beef development, endemic
and emerging livestock diseases, recurrent droughts especially in ASALs, poor finishing,
rampant insecurity especially in the Northern Rangelands, vulnerable traditional pastoral
production systems, diminishing animal genetics, poor marketing channels and static prices of
beef products.
2. Beef Inputs and Services

The main types of inputs in beef production includes; Beef herd, feeds, water, vaccines, drugs
and machinery and equipment such as weighing band, de-horning equipment, branding bar,
livestock pens (lairage)etc.

Beef herd
The beef herd need to be of high quality. This is achieved through having the right breeds and
proper management.

Beef cattle feeds should be balanced to contain the major nutrients necessary for the body to
function normally. These feeds include the natural forage, energy feeds, mineral and vitamin

Adequate Clean water should be provided to the beef animal at all times.

Its important to ensure the beef cattle receives routine vaccinations. This is the obligation of the
farmer to avail his animals for vaccination when called upon by the Ministry personnel.

In beef production disease control is paramount as diseases contribute significantly to low
productivity. Reduced disease incidences therefore contribute to improved productivity and
profitability in beef production. There are drugs to treat various cattle diseases in the market.
The most commonly used machinery and equipment include weighing band, de horning
equipment, branding bar, carcass chiller.

Machinery and equipment

Livestock pens (lairage)

The lairage is so constructed as to protect the animals from heat, cold and rain. So it has a series
of roofed but without walls lockable pens. The lairage is ventilated and has a capacity of one and
half to two days kill. The space required for each Cattle when kept loose is 2.0-2.8 square meters
and for calves/sheep it is 0.7 square meters. The lairage shall be planned to ensure that there will
be minimal mixing of stock and keeping animal welfare and natural behavior in mind and shall
be constructed to a high standard.

3.Beef Production
Beef production systems practiced in Kenya
• Nomadic Pastoralism
• Ranching
• Agro-pastoralism
• Feedlot system

Nomadic Pastoralism
Nomadic pastoralism involves a seasonal pattern of movement around a more or less regular pattern. It is
the most environmentally sustainable livelihood in the arid and semi arid areas. This system is practiced
predominantly in Northern Kenya and southern rangelands.
Ranching is a form of beef production system practiced within a defined unit of land. In a ranch it is
possible to maintain optimal stocking rates conserve, and preserve pasture and develop livestock support
facilities such as dips and water points. This system is practiced in both arid and semi arid areas .

This is a production system practiced in semi- arid parts of the country where beef farming is
practiced alongside crop farming. Beef farming and crop farming complement each other
through livestock feeding on crop residues and crop farming benefiting from manure and animal
draught power.
Feedlot system
These are units where immature are intensively put on a feeding regime purposely to fatten so as
to attain a specific market weight prior to being sold. The animals are confined like in the zero
grazing units in dairy production and are fed on high-energy concentrates. This system is not in
use in the arid lands of Kenya.

General Management of the Beef Herd

i. Breeding
Breeding involves the selection of highly performing animals in the herd and introducing
superior qualities/characteristics into the herd for the purpose of increased production.
Cattle production in the ASAL areas is free range, often in communal grazing and shared water
points. In order to improve the herd productivity, it is important that livestock keepers control
and manage the breeding calendar.
Breeding records:
In order to make decisions on breeding the most important prerequisite would be keeping records
of the animals involved. The following are some of the important records.
(a) Pedigree Records
These are records that trace the lineage of an animal both parents.
(b) Performance Records
These records reflect an animal‘s performance in their lifetime.
Breeding plan:
Improvement of beef cattle by selection Animals can be improved significantly by selecting
superior traits within the herd and multiplying them so as to preserve them.
Population Size
This is important because it determines the intensity of selection. The higher the population from
which the selection is to be done, the higher the section intensity, hence the higher their genetic
gain per unit time.

Generation Interval
This is the age of the parents at the birth of their first calf. The smaller the generation interval, the
higher the genetic gain within a given time.
In order to maximize economic gains in the selection programme, the management levels of the
herd should be optimal. This will reduce the environmental variances, which suppress the
expression of the genotype.
Selection of the Bull
The bull to be selected should have the following qualities:
 Be from a good dam and sire,

 Have evenly placed teats and well hanging testicles.

 Not related to cows in the herd to avoid inbreeding.

 Have good conformation for beef production.

 Free from any deformity

Selection of the Cow:

The selected cow should be –
 Fertile
 Regular breeder, which give birth to live calves.
 Good milk producer and the udder should be well developed,
 Docile and easy to handle.

Selection of replacement Heifers:

Replacement heifers should be selected before final culling is done. Heifer selection can occur at different
stages in its early production life, which include weaning, yearling, breeding, pregnancy, and after
weaning of the first calf.

Culling of Cows:
Culling should be done in order to enhance the genetic progress in the herd.

Improvement through Crossbreeding

This is where a bull and a cow mated are of different breeds. A superior bull is used to upgrade the herd.
It results in hybrid vigour where the crossbreeds‘ performance is more than the average of the dam and
the sire, Traits of importance include: Faster growth, Ability to reproduce fast, High milk production,
Good carcass quality and Disease resistance.

In beef production, Boran is the desired breed because of its good carcass quality, fast growth
rate and reproduction while the Sahiwal are desired for both milk and beef production.
When to Breed
Heifers are best served when they are about 21/2 years old or a better indicator is when they are
¾ of their expected adult weight. The best time to breed is during the rain season when there is
plenty of nutritious forage when the bulls and cows are more healthy and fertile.
Onset of Heat
The period from the beginning of one heat to the beginning of the next varies from 18-24 days
with an average of 21 days. Mating occurs when cows on heat are grazed together with bulls.
Approximately 2/3 of all heats occur between 6 p.m and 6 a.m, i.e. during evening night and
early morning. Silent heat may occur due to stress. A bull will help reveal a cow in silent heat. If
cows do not have a bull to detect heat it will be necessary to observe the following signs of heat.
 A cow on heat is receptive to the bull

 Bellowing, Restlessness,

 Milk production may fall,

 Mounting others or allowing to be mounted.

 Clear mucous discharge from the vulva,

 Pink swollen vulva

Pregnancy Determination
In a beef production operation, it is economically feasible to determine pregnancy in heifers and
cows prior to their anticipated time of calving.

Factors affecting pregnancy rates

 Heifers typically have a longer heat cycle than cows.
 Body condition affects length of postpartum interval.

 Extreme calving difficult and delayed assistance will extend the heat cycle (postpartum).

Length of breeding season depends on the following:

When assisting a cow during difficult calving the following guidelines may be necessary

Check the amount of lubrication on the birth canal and if dry lubricate with soapy water.


there are abnormalities and the cow has been attempting to calve for 6-8 hours contact a vet.
The after birth is usually discharged after 24 hours.

Blowing gently into the mouth and nostrils may stimulate breathing or it may be necessary to
slap the calf gently on the chest over the heart.

Reduction of calf losses

Calf loss from death can be drastically reduced by implementing management and calving
techniques in the areas of

mproved nutrition of the cows.

ii. Livestock Nutrition, Feeds and Feeding
Beef production in Kenya is carried out in different production systems. A production system is a
form of management approach, which is adopted to suit a climatic situation and to achieve a
given objective. There are four main production systems practiced in Kenya, including, Nomadic
Pastoralism, Ranching, Agro-pastoralism and Feedlot system.

Nomadic pastoralism involves a seasonal pattern of movement around a more or less regular
pattern. It is the most environmentally sustainable livelihood in the arid and semi arid areas. This
system is practiced predominantly in Northern Kenya and southern rangelands. Ranching is a
form of beef production system practiced within a defined unit of land. In a ranch it is possible to
maintain optimal stocking rates conserve, and preserve pasture and develop livestock support
facilities such as dips and water points. This system is practiced in both arid and semi arid areas.
Agro-Pastoralism system is practiced in semi- arid parts of the country where beef farming is
practiced alongside crop farming. Beef farming and crop farming complement each other
through livestock feeding on crop residues and crop farming benefiting from manure and animal
draught power. The Feedlot system are units where immature are intensively put on a feeding
regime purposely to fatten so as to attain a specific market weight prior to being sold. The
animals are confined like in the zero grazing units in dairy production and are fed on high-energy
concentrates. This system is not in use in the arid lands of Kenya.
Beef production in Kenya is pasture-based and hence dependent on land availability. Continued
subdivision of land and persistent droughts pose a particular challenge to beef production,
especially during dry seasons. Subdivision has led to shrinkage in the grazing resource base
and consequently affects the productivity of the animals.
The main beef feeds consist of roughages, concentrates, minerals and vitamins. The greatest
proportion of diet for ruminants is roughages that include grass and browse. Grazing animals
beef are basically fed on natural pastures or fodder with supplemental concentrates for high
yielding animals. Grazing beef often go through periods of feed scarcity and feed glut. During
the rains, for instance, pasture and fodder production exceeds requirement by animals. On the
other hand, quality and quantity of pastures decline as a result of drought and pests during the dry
season. There is need, therefore, to minimize this feed wastage during the rainy season and to
find alternatives to fodder during periods of scarcity to minimize loss in production and animal

Beef feeds in Kenya account for between 60-80 percent of the production costs in livestock
farming, depending on the intensity of production. Domestic supply of animal feed has been
volatile due to its dependence on the seasonality of supply of inputs. The basic factors affecting
the supply of quality feed are its price, availability, the quality of raw material used, processing
methods, handling and storage of mixed feeds, among other factor. Most of the fine ingredients
including vitamins, minerals, amino acids and other feed additives are imported. However, the
standardization of feeds for some other categories of animals is not complete. In addition, feed
ingredients themselves are not fully standardized. As a result, feed manufacturers face great
difficulties in meeting acceptable standards of feeds using such feed ingredients.

The poor quality of commercial feeds has been a major complaint among livestock farmers. Feed
quality is assessed in terms of nutrient composition as well as the presence or absence of
substances that may be harmful to life, e.g. afflatoxins. Poor quality feeds is a result of many
factors, including lack of standardization and high cost of ingredients, poor training of the feed
manufacturers, failure to use laboratories for nutritional analysis as well as weak legal and
institutional framework to enforce quality assurance. Indeed, the latter limitation has led to cases
of counterfeiting of popular brands of feeds and adulteration of complete feeds.

Napier grass is the fodder crop of choice in the High and Medium Potential Lands (HMPL). It is
widely grown in the country and often in areas that are unsuitable to its production. Acceptable
alternatives to napier grass fodder have not been identified. Already, napier grass production is
threatened by two diseases, i.e. napier smut and napier stunting.
The range environment is fragile and, due to its inappropriate use, degradation of the range has
been observed in some areas. This situation reduces the capacity of the land to support enough
livestock in the rangelands. There is need, therefore, to develop strategies that will protect the
environment and support livestock in a sustainable manner.
It has been established that droughts and famine in the country occur over the lapse of a regular
span of a certain period lapse. However, their effects are felt more by the pastoral community
through human suffering and loss of their livestock. During the drought, human suffering is
ameliorated somewhat by famine food relief. However, after the drought has taken its toll, many
households are often left without sufficient livestock to sustain their livelihoods. There is,
therefore, need to minimize animal losses during drought in order to facilitate faster socio-
economic recovery of their owners after the lapse of drought.

iii. Animal Diseases and Pests

The most prevalent diseases include rinderpest, foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), lumpy skin and
contagious bovine pleuropneumonia. More outbreaks of FMD have been reported in recent years
than of the other diseases. Animal diseases and pests control is important for the viability and
sustainability of the livestock sub-sector. Animal diseases and pests contribute significantly to
low productivity of farm animals and impact negatively on both local and international livestock
trade. The most important notifiable diseases in Kenya are Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD),
Anthrax, Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia (CBPP), Rabies, Lumpy Skin disease, Contagious
Caprine Pleuropneumonia (CCPP), East Coast Fever, Rift Valley Fever and Trypanosomiasis.
Indeed much of Kenya has been declared rinderpest free, except a small corridor along the
Kenya/Somalia border. There are, however, emerging notifiable diseases, like Avian Influenza,
which are of great economic and public health importance. Of more significance also are the
non-notifiable diseases like worms, reproductive disorders, mastitis, scours, zoonotic and tick
borne diseases that affect large number of livestock in the country and which need sustained
vigilance and surveillance in order to control.
The following are the main challenges facing the control of animal diseases and pests in the
absence of adequate capacity for disease control and clinical services,

little public awareness on disease and pest confirmation,

inadequate epidemio-surveillance,

poor tick control, weak inspectorate and

quality assurance,

lack of enforcement on existing rules and regulations on movement of livestock and

products both within the country and across the national borders, and

inadequate human, financial and physical capacity to enhance performance of the

of Veterinary Services.
Large tracts of land in Kenya are underutilized because they are infested with tse tse flies which
transmit trypanosomiasis bugs. Control of livestock movement serves the twin purposes of
minimizing stock theft and controlling livestock diseases.

Kenya has expansive and porous borders with its neighbors; In addition, there is little
coordination and collaboration with the neighbors on disease control across the borders,
making control of trans-boundary diseases a major challenge.

It is estimated that livestock reproductive diseases account for substantial economic losses to
livestock farmers. The country ensures quality and safety of animal production inputs and
products, through the National Laboratories at Embakasi and Kabete, and six regional
laboratories and the establishment of disease free zone in isiolo, nanyuki, namanga and coast.

d) Environmental Issues in Beef Production.

Pastoralism, which contributes a large percentage of beef produced in Kenya, is a livelihood
derived mainly from livestock foraging on the natural vegetation. The success of Pastoralism is
therefore dependent on well-managed environment. Over the centuries, the pastoralists have
always lived in harmony with his environment. However, new and emerging situations have led
to interference in this harmony resulting in environmental degradation and reduced benefits
accruing to the pastoralists. These effects include:

i)Soil Erosion
Soil erosion occurs when soil cover is destroyed. Such destruction is normally caused by
overgrazing occasioned by over concentration of livestock in one particular area. Sedentarization
and settlements are the primary causes of natural resource and environmental degradation in
pastoral areas.
The provision of unplanned water and social amenities reduces mobility of pastoralists and
increases pressure on vegetation around the settlements.
Poor marketing of livestock and their products result in pastoralists looking for alternative
sources of income e.g charcoal burning, firewood etc. Prolonged droughts lead to over
concentration of animals in watering areas hence vegetation destruction by both pastoralists and
their livestock.
Environmental degradation has been exacerbated by widespread and indiscriminate cutting of
trees for charcoal burning, firewood, housing etc .
ii) Environmental Pollution
a) Animal waste products (Manure, urine & blood) from poorly sited slaughter facilities can
cause contamination to both surface and ground water sources - There is need for Environmental
Impact Assessment (EIA) for new slaughterhouses and slabs and environmental audit for existing
b) Soils and water pollution from improper use and disposal of pesticides – water user
Associations to be in the forefront in sensitizing members on safe use of pesticides.
Environmental contamination by poorly disposed diseased carcasses resulting in spread of
diseases Carcasses from dead animals irrespective of probable cause of death must be completely
burned or buried in a minimum 4ft pits. Invasive species – prosopis juriflora, Ipomea spp, etc.

4. Livestock Off-take

Livestock off-take is the percentage of the herd that is removed through sales, deaths, gifts,
home-slaughters or theft. This is an important measure of herd dynamics and therefore a means
for estimating output from a pastoral production unit. Although non-commercial transactions
contribute significantly to the total livestock off-take in a traditional pastoral household,
commercial livestock off-take, i.e., animal units that leave the herd for cash sales, form the main
form of pastoral off-take today. Commercial livestock off-take has increasingly become
important with the breakdown of traditional drought coping strategies as pastoralism slowly
evolves from solely subsistence to a commercial economy, and as the frequency and severity of
droughts increase. Besides political insecurity, drought is the most detrimental disaster
distressing African pastoralists.

Droughts are known to have short term and long-term effects on pastoralists. The short-term
effects are the shocks caused by the heavy losses of animals due to a drastic and abrupt decline of
grazing resources, thereby exposing the pastoralists to severe transient food insecurity. Thus
pastoralists find themselves with ‗excess‘ animals in relation to land resources and with limited
options for disposing of them (often with little return), direct consumption or finding extra
grazing and water. The effect of the drought of 1999/2000 provides a good example of how
obvious the lack of appropriate advice to pastoral communities led not only to the loss of
property in animals but also to the rise in political tensions due to the movement in search of
pasture into inappropriate private lands. To avoid this market outlets or any other means of
disposing of the drought-induced ‗extra‘ livestock well before droughts strike should be
encouraged. This can be achieved through close communication with the pastoralists. The
longterm effects of droughts on pastoralists are through decreased food security and lost
bargaining power. In addition to loss of livestock, distress sales of livestock cause abrupt decline
in livestock prices, making it increasingly difficult for pastoralists to recover from such shocks,
therefore rendering them more vulnerable to future disasters, and ultimately promoting poverty
and hindering development.
Within the wider framework of poverty alleviation, improved livelihoods and sustainable
development, it is imperative to facilitate emergency livestock off-take so as to minimize losses
during droughts and ensure that pastoralists get reasonable prices for their animals, thus enabling
the pastoralists to remain viable during and after the droughts. The focus in this handbook,
therefore, is on the animal units that are available for the market during pre-drought periods as a
requirement to guide the planning of emergency off-take in response to a looming drought. A
timely response with adequate lead time to impending drought requires a reliable forewarning
developed from in-depth understanding of the focus and means of monitoring environmental
changes. However, the ability to track the environmental changes in a predictive manner alone is
not adequate if not used to institute timely and appropriate coping mechanisms that permit
resilience and recover after drought.

5. Beef Processing and Value Addition

There are several ranches, groups and cooperative enterprises involved in beef production. There
are many value added beef products and the methods differ from one product to the other. The
main beef products include fresh meat and processed products such as sausages, meat balls. This
involves high investment in slaughter houses, specialized equipment and development of skills in
processing. Some of the byproducts of beef value are manure, milk, bones, blood, hooves and
horns, skins.

Steps in slaughtering process i}

Livestock pens (lairages)
Lairage is the area where the animals are rested and conciliated prior to slaughter to overcome
the fatigue and are rested for 24 hours without feed but with copious water.
Lairages Requirements

Livestock pens, chutes and/or squeezes must be provided at all slaughtering

establishments. The holding of animals prior to slaughter should be for a minimum
time. Chutes, ramps and inclines should be "stepped" and have a reasonable incline to
prevent slipping, falling or injury. All floors, alleyways and chutes must be impervious,
paved, properly drained and scored to prevent slipping. The floor area should have
rough cement mortar finishing with 1% slope to the drainage canal. There must be an
open space between the wall and the roof of the lairage for amplenatural light and
ventilation. The lighting in all parts of the lairage should be bright enough so that
animals can be inspected at any time by designated and competent personnel. Each pen
should be supplied with concrete water troughs at about 50 cm from the floor, with 60
cm width and 25-40cm depth across the length of one side of each pen. Animals should
have ready access to grazing/feed/food in the event they are not slaughtered within
2448 hours of arrival to the abattoir. Metallic hayracks should be installed in those pens
wherein the animals stay until before 24-72 hours of slaughter at about 60-100 cm from
the floor across the length on the opposite side of the water supply line. Area of about
3.25 m2 and 0.55 m2 per head of cattle and shoats is required, respectively. The
livestock holding pen capacity at the establishment shall be sufficient to hold the
number of animals slaughtered during one half slaughter shift. The capacity of each
livestock pen shall indicate on the establishment drawings. Cattle will be cleaned and
watered to get rid of dust, minuscule materials from skin, and holding yards will be
maintained in a clean condition. Every effort need to be taken and arrangements to be
made to mollify the animals while in pens and during run-up to slaughter. Stress has
direct impact on quality of meat produced. Stress makes the pH in the tissue of cattle
increase, which can cause the meat to become dark, firm and dry. Relevant guidelines
and best practices to be followed for handling of Animals as discussed in subsequent
chapters. If possible, animals from different groups should be kept separate until they
move to the knocking box. The lairage shall be connected to the slaughter hall with an
animal race. The lairage should be designed to allow a one-way flow of animals from
unloading to the point of slaughter. Outdoor lairage should be given shelter from
adverse weather conditions.

ii. Slaughter Hall/ Kill Floor

A kill floor is where animals are slaughtered for processing. The kill floor is divided spatially
into a clean side and a dirty side. The kill floor is usually hot and humid, temperature of this area
is relatively higher than other areas of processing plant. In Slaughter hall or kill floor area all
cattle should be well spaced to prevent any contamination. Kill lines of kill floor merge into one
line after evisceration for splitting, trimming, washing, grading and labeling.

Slaughter Hall/ Kill Floor Requirements

Each area on the kill floor must be physically identifiable and there must be separation of
operational zones as far as possible such as killing, dressing, inspection and cleaning areas.
Each zone or area should have its own set of equipment. The floor of the slaughter hall
shall be finished with washable, non-absorbent and easy to clean material. Where
appropriate, the wall of the slaughter hall shall be white ceramic tile up to the level of
rail(s).Slaughter hall shall be fitted with sufficient exhaust fans to avoid hot and humid air
in the slaughter area. Slaughter hall will incorporate improved practices of animal
handling. The slaughter halls in a slaughter house shall provide separate sections of
adequate dimensions sufficient for slaughter of individual animals to ensure that the
animal to be slaughtered is not within the sight of other animals. Abattoir shall be provided
with distributed artificial light of an overall intensity of not less than 200 lux at the
distances as may be specified by guidelines throughout the slaughter hall. A constant
supply of clean hot water shall be available in the slaughter hall. The roof of the slaughter
hall and all buildings with direct relation to the service of the slaughter hall shall be such
that they do not transmit any undesirable substances to the slaughter product/meat/.All
corners and edges of the slaughter hall and accessories shall have curved finishing. To
avoid insects, rodents and vermin, windows and openings made for sufficient ventilation
shall be covered with screens.
Operations should consider the air-flow throughout the plant – coolers, cut floors, kill
floors - including air from personnel fans, on the kill floors and ensure that air is not
carrying contamination into exposed product. Air Quality - make-up air pulled in to
plant should be assessed for directional source, environmental contamination
potential, filtrations may be needed.
iii} Restraining Box & Cradle for Slaughtering the Animal
After reaching the kill floor, cattle are herded in to a moveable cradle or box chute. This is a Box
which is used to restrain the animal to facilitate stunning and slaughter. For this purpose the
animal is brought from the lairage through the ramp in the restraining box. From the restraining
box the animal falls/ ejected on a raised sturdy metallic frame (Cradle) where it is restrained and
slaughtered quickly and humanely. Cradle is specially designed to block the animal's view from
what's going on outside of the cradle, restrain it, enable the person above to stun it, drop the side
to release the stunned or killed animal to shackle one or both of the hind legs for rest of the
slaughtering and dressing process.
In the medium to high rainfall areas, most farm inputs are readily available in the markets, except
a few vaccines which are sometimes sourced out of the country. However, in the arid and
semiarid areas, beef input suppliers are rare and poorly distributed. The prevailing relatively poor
infrastructure in such areas increases transportation and storage costs for beef inputs, placing the
prices of beef inputs beyond the reach of most farmers.

Stunning, hoisting and bleeding areas

The animals are led from the holding area to the immobilization, or stunning, area where they are
rendered unconscious. Workers called stunners use mechanical or chemical devices to make the
animals unconscious before they slaughter them. Animal stickers then cut the jugular vein and let
all the blood drain from the carcass, or dead body. Under the cradle there should be a bleeding
trough, having a good gradient with two drains, one for the blood only going to blood collection
room and the other for water used for cleansing the blood.

i. Overhead Rails for Carcasses

An overhead system of rails for handling of carcasses after slaughter point shall be provided up
to the process hall via chillers with hooks of stainless steel. After slaughtering the animal is
shackled to the hooks on the rail. The overhead rail brings the carcass to steamers, de-hairing
machine tenders, singers, and shavers, who remove the hide, hair, and dirt, and clean the carcass
with water and brushes

ii. Electrical Stimulation

The use of electrical pulses to use up energy reserves in meat is called electrical stimulation. In
some plants, electrical stimulation (ES) is applied to the carcasses to improve lean color,
firmness,texture, and marbling score; to improve bleeding of carcasses; and to make removal of
the hides easier. Applying electrical stimulation to beef carcasses, cold-induced toughening can
be reduced.When the cattle come out of the kill floor they receive an electric shock stimulation
which breaks down the sugar particles in the meat and ensures a more tender beef carcass for
eating. Electrical stimulation also permits rapid chilling by hastening the onset of rigor before
temperatures drop to the cold shortening range.Processing plants use a variety of post-stunning
immobilizers and hid-pulling equipment which used electric current to stiffen the carcass. All
this equipment has the effect of stimulating the carcass and impacting on pH decline. Electrical
Stimulation can reduce the risk of cold shortening of lighter carcasses, and carcasses which have
been trimmed of fat when in chillers.

Horn & Hooves Removal

Because of the high risk of contamination of carcasses from feet and udders which have
been removed from carcasses, special facilities, such as a chute or slide, should be used for
transferring these parts to containers.
The horns are removed from the head and transferred to room meant for Horn and
Hooves. Suitable facilities and floor space must be provided for dehorning, removal and
thorough washing of heads and their preparation for inspection. If the retain
compartment is located in the cooler, the compartment should be separated from the
remainder of the cooler to prevent cross-contamination of inspected and passed
The fore and hind feet are removed to prevent contamination of the carcass with manure and dirt
dropped from the hooves (shanking or legging). Each of the legs is then skinned. The hide is then
opened down the middle of the ventral side over the entire length of the carcass. The hide is
removed or from the middle down over the sides (siding). Air or electrically powered rotary
skinning knives are often used to make skinning easier. The hind quarters are separated with a
saw or knife. The tail is skinned and then removed two joints from the body. After removing the
tail, the hide is completely flayed from the carcasses. Hides are collected, intermediate
preserving operations performed, and the preserved hides sent to tanners for processing into
Head Removal
The head is removed (the skin is removed from the head, and the head is removed from the
carcass). Heads must be removed in a sanitary manner to prevent contamination. This process
step may also involve the activities for dehorning, ear removal, etc. Employees must clean and
sanitize hands and equipment throughout the head removal process to ensure sanitary dressing.
Head must be inspected (part of post-mortem) on the line especially meant for this purpose. Each
room should have adequate space which allows effective segregation of inedible and condemned

The carcasses are hung by hocks to the shackles for evisceration. By a slit opening from the tip of
breast bone, abdominal cavity is opened by means of a transverse cut. A circular cut is made
around the vent. The viscera is drawn outside but allowed to remain attached to the carcass for
post mortem inspection. Meanwhile, a slit is made in the skin of the neck for easy removal of
crop and neck. Evisceration procedures must be developed and implemented for proper sanitary
dressing. Brisket splitting
Brisket opening is usually a two-part process (knife and saw). The initial knife cut should be
made with a clean and sanitized knife. The saw should be cleaned and sanitized between
carcasses to prevent cross-contamination. After head removal, the breast is cut opened by sawing
the sternum bone with the help of Brisket saw. After brisket opening, the internal organs green
and red offal are taken out.

Brisket splitting Requirements

A chute or slide should be used to avoid splashing of milk or other contaminants onto the
carcasses, floor, equipment, and personnel.

Carcass Splitting
After the hide is removed, the carcass is eviscerated. With a knife, the abdomen of the carcass is
opened from top to bottom. Carcass is split into two halves with help of a vertically operated
splitting saw. Then carcass splitters cleave the carcass open and remove the innards. The
diaphragm membrane is cut and the thoracic organs are removed.
Carcass Splitting Dressing
Dressing is the process of progressive separation of the body of an animal into a carcass and
other edible and inedible parts. Carcass dressing should begin after bleeding without further
delay. After exsanguination, the actual "dressing", or cleaning, of the carcasses begins. Dressing
of the carcasses is done on overhead rails. Inedible materials (offal) including a lamb pelt and
cow hoof have been placed in a large container which will then be picked up by the renderers. A
dressing cradle is equally suitable for bovines and small-stock. Percentage of individual animal
dressing was defined as the hot carcass weight divided by the live weight 14hr. before slaughter.
The mean dressing percentage is around 55%. Carcass dressing can be influenced by inherent
oscillation factors such as genotype, rumen fill, fasting period and transportation; it can also be
influenced by the slaughter location and cleaning process. Post-dressing antimicrobial treatments
are also important, but their effectiveness depends in large part on how well your sanitary
dressing procedures have minimized contaminants to that point.

Post Mortem Inspection

Inspection is normally carried out by trained Public Health Inspectors. Their duty is to examine
the slaughter products for evidence of disease and abnormality and eliminate them from the
public meat supply. The head of every animal slaughtered is checked to ensure that the animal
was healthy. Like the head, organs are also inspected. The carcass is held in the suspended
position, while the visceral organs including the head and tongue are placed on hooks in a
separate area and the stomach and intestines remain in the basin or bucket. Besides, the carcass
parts of the animal body which are assembled for inspection are the tongue, head, pluck, liver
and stomach and intestines
Carcass Retention (Room) & inspection requirements
All carcasses and parts of carcasses shall be inspected by competent establishment employees
who shall remove any foreign matter from the said carcasses or parts thereof prior to
deboning. Post mortem veterinary inspection is required by law of all carcasses and fifth
quarter components. During this inspection diseases and aberration are rejected, and carcass
quality classification recorded. The carcass is allowed for further processing or sale only after
approbation of inspecting agency. Where appropriate, the wall of the detained room shall be
non-absorbent, easy to clean,washable and free from crevices. The floor of the room shall be
non-absorbent, easy to clean and with 2% slope to the drainage canal. The retain room or
compartment must be equipped for locking or sealing.
If the retain compartment is located in the cooler, the compartment should be separated from the
remainder of the cooler to prevent cross-contamination of inspected and passed carcasses.
Carcass inspection point shall be located immediately after the carcass splitting operation and
prior to any trimming being performed on the carcass. The minimum unobstructed space (length)
for this inspection station is 2.5 m. The online carcass inspection point shall be adjustable to
accommodate inspectors of different heights. The point shall be capable of being positioned so
the eyes of the inspector are level with the lumbosacral area (rump) of the carcass. Records have
to be kept of all rejected materials. HACCP methodology is needed these include complex
methods of risk analysis and require staff to be trained in the international standards. The
establishment shall be responsible for grouping the product into coded lots which shall be
acceptable to the Authorized Officer, and for adequately identifying and re-conditioning rejected

Cooling of carcasses is necessary before it is taken to the market. Considerations must be given
to the fact that freshly slaughtered carcasses are warm with temperatures close to ordinary body
temperatures (37oC or 98.6oF) of the live animals and are subject to the growth and
multiplication of bacteria. After eviscerators and offal separators separate the edible and inedible
parts from the carcass, split sides are sent to a chilling room for twenty-four to forty-eight hours.
The emphasis of carcass chilling should focus on the carcass surface temperature because this is
where the pathogen contamination is most likely. Cold Chain Management includes all factors
that contribute to temperature reduction of the carcass — spray chill, carcass spraying, air-flow,
Chillers/ cooling room requirements
All carcasses spend at around 2 hours in the pre-cooling hall to remove water and excess blood
before chilling. All carcasses need to begin chilling within 1 hour from bleed-out. All variety
meats need to begin chilling within 1 hour after removal from carcass.
All coolers have a certain maximum capacity which is contingent, not only on the refrigerating
capability of the unit, but also on the provision of an adequate circulation of air. Therefore, the
holding capacity of all carcass chilling and holding rooms shall be indicated on the establishment
drawings. A thorough chilling during the first 24 hours is essential, otherwise the carcasses may
sour .Air chillers are most common for beef sides. A desirable temperature for chilling warm
beef carcasses is 00C (320F). Because a group of warm carcasses will raise the temperature of a
chill room considerably, it is good practice to lower the temperature of the room to 5E below
freezing (-30C [270F]) before the carcasses are moved in. Temperatures more severe than this
can cause cold shortening, an intense shortening of muscle fibers, which brings about
toughening. Beef undergoes maturation and should be held for at least a week (preferably longer)
at 00C (320F) before butchery into retail joints. Sheep and goat carcasses should be cooled to a
temperature of between -2oC and +2oC (or approximately 28oF to 35oF) for a period of 18 to 24
hours prior to being taken to market. During the cooling process cold air should flow rapidly and
in so doing prevents surface spoilage and deterioration in deep tissues. After cooling the
carcasses must be refrigerated. Specialized protective clothing is needed for the colder conditions
in boning rooms and chillers. The hangers in the cold room should be stainless steel. The floor of
the cold rooms must be resistant to blood, fat, acid, and non-slippery. The doors of the cold room
shall be resistant to temperature variation and air tight with rubber gaskets and be made of
nonrusting material. A suitable area must be designated in a cooler for chilling and storing "held
carcasses" and parts. This section should be segregated from the remainder of the cooler and
sealed or locked.
Besides the carcass, other edible meats include red offals (liver, kidney and heart), grey offals
(stomach, intestine, lungs and spleen) and dark offals (head and feet). The red offals can be given
the same cooling treatment as the carcass, but the others should be sold quickly. If storage is
desired the grey and dark offals should be held in a separate chamber and spread out to allow for
more effective cold action.

Loading Station Requirement

The rails of the production room, refrigeration and freezing rooms should be conjoined with
loading ramps for meat transportation vehicles. The entrance of the cold storage should be along
the dispatch hall. Finished product storage areas should not exceed 40 °F. Aged beef should be
held no longer than 7 days at a temperature not exceeding 40 °F.

Meat Packing A. Typical Process Flow for Meat Packing

i. Cutting and deboning
• Meat Cutting/ Deboning Area
• Fresh Packing Area
• Freezers
• Frozen Packing Area
• Metal Detection
• Cold Storage

ii. Meat processing

• Meat Processing Unit read more
• Smoking & Cooking Section read more
• Wrapping Storage & Dispatch Section read more

Types of Processed Meats

Cured Meats (Nitrite/ Nitrate) – [Polony, Ham & Bacon, Frankfurters, Bologna, Corned Beef,
Uncured Meats (No added Nitrite/ Nitrate)- [Lamb Roast, Bratwurst, Sausages]

Value added products include meatballs, beef burger, marinated products, stir fries, sausages and
pet food, as well as canned products that include corned beef, ox-tongue. A growing category of
exports is the pet food by products production which includes meat and bone meal, tallow, skin
and hide, blood meal, horns and hooves, ox-gall, ox-skull, mask, ox-pizzle, ears and the offal
category of the liver and tripe.

Meat by-products
There is gamut of byproducts which can be derived harnessing offal and inedible products/
rejects from meat processing plants.
Multifarious byproducts from meat processing industry provides further diverse downstream
networking opportunities with industries ranging from health and pharmaceuticals to leather and
Textile to cosmetics to lifestyle and household products to chemical and other industries.

Offal Processing Unit

On average proteins associated with the meat industry byproducts constitute more than oneeighth
of the total protein in the lean meat. Besides feeds and fertilizers, there is growing market for
protein hydrolysates which may be used as flavor enhancers, functional ingredients or simply as
nutritional additives to food of low protein quality. The Offal processing unit would require a
good refrigeration facility along with the various processing equipment and machinery.

Flow for Meat Packing

Many large scale plants ship whole graded carcasses to retail markets, others perform some
onsite processing to produce retail cuts. The processes are the following:
• Cutting and deboning
• Meat processing

Meat Cutting & Deboning

Meat cutting a deboning area is a hall of sufficient size where the cutting and deboning of chilled
Carcasses is done. The meat shall be deboned in a manner so as to ensure a clean and Deboning
of wholesome product.

Cutting & Deboning Area Typical Process Flow

Meat Cutting/ Deboning Area requirements
The Deboning room should be large enough to handle maximum possible throughputs
Deboning area should be equipped with deboning tables of galvanized steel, finished with a
top of stainless steel or high density plastic.

The premises should have the facility to maintain the room temperature at 12oc. There has
to be red offal and green offal areas where offal is chilled on a continuous conveyor. The
deboning area shall have facilities for washing hands and sterilizing. The room temperature
in the deboning area should be below 100C as prescribed by norms.
If there is a gap in the cold chain, the meat may possibly become foul, diminished in quality
or impaired in its life. Hygiene & cleanliness in the meat deboning are the most important
and should be assured. The deboning area shall have facilities for washing hands and
sterilizing knives and tools prior to and during the deboning operations and shall be
provided with adequate light. The conveyor belt should be easily cleanable and offer a
longer lasting cleanliness in the hygiene sensitive handling of meat. Boneless meat
reinspection shall apply to all deboned skeletal meat from carcasses and heads of cattle,
calves, sheep, goat, and swine intended for cooking, canning, packaging, boxing, freezing
and other processing at establishments preparing meat products.

Packing Area
The deboning and packing area is separated from each other by partitions.

Meat packing

Packaged Meat

After packing, the processed meat is delivered to either Plate freezers or Blast freezers.
Freezer construction requires a clear comprehension of all aspects of building construction
design and practice including heat transfer, mass transfer, air infiltration detailing, and
structural design considerations. Meat is aged by holding either carcasses or primal cuts at
refrigeration temperatures for extended periods of time after slaughter and initial chill and
some after packing. This aging process improves the tenderness and flavor of meat. There
are two methods of aging namely – wet aging & dry aging.

Enterprise development
In Kenya the following forms of business enterprises exist -
• Sole Proprietorships
• Co-operatives
• Partnerships
• Private Registered Companies
• Public Registered Companies
• Branch offices of companies registered overseas
• The registered companies are regulated by the Companies Act

There are a number of beef enterprises that can be carried out and these includes breed
improvement, pasture improvement, quality feeds, meat cold chain and beef health.
www. business planning

6. Beef Marketing
The marketing of beef products is a major economic enterprise that engages many
businessmen in the country. In Kenya, livestock marketing is largely in the hands of the
private sector, with the government only offering regulatory and facilitation services.
Among the EAC Partner States, Kenya has taken advantage of the high beef prices on the
world market and opened up export markets in the Middle East. In 2011, Kenyan beef
processors exported 15,000 tons of beef to Middle East. There is also some insignificant
intra-regional meat trade, with Kenya in the lead position, followed by Uganda and
There is a huge market for beef in the local market as many Kenyans like their delicacy of
nyama choma. There are opportunities for global trade in meat and meat products: Global
market for fresh meat and fish is $640 billion17 and growing. Potential markets for EAC
meat include Middle East markets (UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia), North Africa
(Sudan, Egypt (10 tones/week.).At regional level the growing number of supermarkets is a
good outlet for high quality meat as are the neighbouring countries of Sudan, Gabon,
Democratic Republic of Congo and Somalia, but require further investigations to establish
market requirements and regulations.
Meat is produced by livestock farmers through grazing of animals. Livestock trade is by
private sector traders, while slaughter/flaying is also done by the private sector. Trading in
meat is carried out by meat traders sourcing it from either slaughter houses or in some
cases buy live animals slaughter and trade. But Kenya‘s Meat Commission has a modern
slaughterhouse, certified to export meat and meat products to the United Arab Emirates,
the COMESA region among other destinations. The facility is certified for Food Safety
Management System, ISO 22000:2005 and Halal certified. In 2010 new markets were
opened up in Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, and Egypt. Beef products such as meat and meat
products, milk and milk products play critical roles in ensuring food security, enriched
livelihood and economic development in Kenya.

Listed below are the many policies that affect the beef value chain
Applicable Laws – Kenya
Title of Act Law Purpose of the Act/Law
PUBLIC HEALTH 1921 An Act of Parliament to make provision
for securing and maintaining health.

AGRICULTURAL PRODUCE An Act of Parliament to provide for the

(EXPORT) 1921 grading and inspection of generally for the
better regulation of the preparation and
manufacture thereof

FOOD, DRUGS AND An Act of Parliament to make provision for the

1965 adulteration of food, drugs and chemical
substances and for matters incidental
thereto and connected therewith

VETERINARY SURGEONS An Act of Parliament to make provision for the

AND VETERINARY training, registration and
PARAPROFESSIONALS licensing of veterinary surgeons and veterinary

para-professionals; to
provide for matters relating to animal health
services and welfare, and for connected
purposes. As per Section 17 (2),
23 (2) of the Act under
Second Schedule are provided list of services to
be provided by a
Veterinary Para – Professional wherein it is
also provided that the
following duty may be performed by a
Veterinary para-professional—
―2. Meat inspection and other duties under the
relevant legislation, if
authorized therefore by the Director of
Veterinary Services.‖

AGRICULTURE Act 1955 An Act of Parliament to promote and

maintain a stable agriculture, to provide for
the conservation of the soil and its fertility
and to stimulate P A P the development of
agricultural land in accordance with the
accepted practices of good land management.

Facilities available for Meat Sector under Investment Promotion Act 2004 The
second schedule of the Investment Promotion Act 2004 under Section 12, 30 (2) and
Schedule 1 Section 8 entitles the investment certificate holder to the following
licences in the meat sector –

Investment Promotion An Act of Parliament to promote and facilitate

Act 2004 investment by assisting
investors in obtaining the licences necessary to
invest and by providing
other assistance and incentives and for related
National Livestock Policy Guides the livestock sub-sector
An act of parliament to promote and facilitate
Legal Framework For Foreign Direct investment by assisting investors in obtaining the
Investment(Fdi) licenses .
Legal And Regulatory Framework-Meat Value Directly regulates the meat sector.
Investment Protection And Dispute Settlement Protection against the expropriation of private
Expropriation property except in cases of public interest.
An act of parliament to establish a commission to
purchase cattle and small stock and to acquire,
Kenya Meat Commission Act establish and operate arbatours.
An Act to make better provision for the prevention
Prevention Of Cruelty To Animals Act 1962 of cruelty to animals.
An act of parliament to enable control to be
Meat Control Act 1972 exercised over meat and the meat products.
An Act of parliament to provide for matters relating
Animal Diseases Act 1965 to diseases of animals.

a. Slaughterhouse
• Licence to operate a slaughterhouse under the Meat Control (Local
Slaughterhouses) Regulations under the Meat Control Act .
• Licence under section 8(1) (a) of the Kenya Meat Commission Act.
• Licence to slaughter pigs under the Pig Industry Act
• Licence to keep pigs under the Animal Diseases (Control of Pig Diseases)
Rules under the Animal Diseases Act.

b. Export of meat or supply of meat to ships at Mombasa

Licence under section 8(1)(b) of the Kenya Meat Commission Act .

c. Selling, preparing food, etc.

Licence under the Food, Drugs and Chemical Substances Act to use premises to
sell, prepare, store or display for sale, any food

d. Stock trading

Stock trader‘s licence under the Stock Traders Licensing Act.

e. Hide, skin and leather dealing

• Buyer‘s licence under the Hide, Skin and Leather Trade Act.
• Exporter‘s licence or importer‘s licence under the Hide, Skin and Leather Trade Act.
Registration certificate for premises under the Hide, Skin and Leather Trade Act.
• The Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) has set standards on feeds for most livestock

The main services rendered to beef producers are veterinary, animal breeding, research and
extension, and animal identification services.
These service providers includes

The table below shows a list of the service providers


Ministry of Agriculture Livestock and www.kilimo.go.ke

Policy and Capacity

Kenya Bureau of Quality standardization www.kebs.org


Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Specifically charged with

services(KEPHIS) assuring quality of plant

Public and private universties Contributed to livestock input Egerton university

and livestock product quality
assurance, production inputs,
vaccines and other biologics, Nairobi university
drugs, pesticides, feeds,
preximes and animal products.

Credit providers Financial support Banks, SACCOs

Ministry of Industrialization and Capacity Building www.industrialization.go.ke

Enterprise Development
Development partners, NGOs

Kenya Meat Commission Marketing www.kenyameatcommission.co.ke