Latest Posts

Stay up to date with the latest news, updates and information from the Beef Cattle Research Council.

Carcass defects cost industry an estimated $110 million/year: New video

Beef quality defects, like bruises and lesions, cause economic losses to the Canadian beef industry due to reductions in usable meat and the added labour to remove these defects from the carcass.

This video from a new video series on the results of the latest National Beef Quality Audit (NBQA) provides the answers to which carcass defects the beef industry has improved upon since the previous audit and the areas we as an industry need to work on. The ultimate objective of the NBQA is to enhance the quality and safety of Canadian beef while increasing the profitability of the Canadian beef and cattle industry.

The NBQA results indicate the overall cost of carcass defects has increased 15% to $85/head on fed cattle and increased by 5% to $47/head on non-fed cattle. By assigning dollar values to the various defects, those with the greatest expense to the industry can be identified. This informs the areas to be tackled first through research or through communications about prevention.

 Improvements made since the previous NBQA:

  • The number of cattle with horns continues to decrease and is now considered to be below 10%.
  • The number of cattle with brands has decreased to 13%. (The number of branded non-fed cattle has decreased, but the number of branded fed cattle has increased.)
  • Bruises in non-fed cattle has decreased significantly from 86% to 63%.

Areas that require improvement:

  • Injection site lesions have increased significantly in both fed and non-fed cattle.
  • Hide manure and mud (tag) percentage has increased (which may be due to seasonal weather).
  • Liver abscesses have increased in both fed and non-fed cattle. The economic loss from liver discounts alone in 2016 is estimated at $20.98/head for all cattle, with a total industry loss of $61.2 million.

Watch the video

Learn more

Click here to subscribe to the BCRC Blog and receive email notifications when new content is posted.

The sharing or reprinting of BCRC Blog articles is welcome and encouraged. Please provide acknowledgement to the Beef Cattle Research Council, list the website address,, and let us know you chose to share the article by emailing us at

We welcome your questions, comments and suggestions. Contact us directly or generate public discussion by posting your thoughts below.

Leave a CommentReply