Ethiopian Hides and Skin Defects and Quality Status: An Assessment at Wet Blue Stage
Teklay A* , Gebeyehu G, Getachew T, Yayneshet T and Sastry TP
Journal Title: Open Access Journal of Waste Management & Xenobiotics
Hides and skins are important byproducts of livestock playing significant role in the Ethiopian economy. However, the potential of the sector is not adequately exploited due to factors limiting quality of the products. The objective of this study was therefore to identify the major defects of hide and skins and assess their impact on quality. The study was conducted in eight purposely selected tanneries in and around Addis Ababa. Overall, 648 hides, 648 sheepskins and 324 goatskins were assessed at wet-blue stage for defects and quality grading. Defects were categorized into pre-slaughter, peri-slaughter and post-slaughter problems. The findings showed 13 different types of defects; the major ones being cockle (28.4-60%), scratch (31-40.74%), scar (9.72-17.9%), flaying defect (35.2-69.44%) and putrefaction (20.2- 25.31%). No single hide or skin was found free of defects. Irrespective of the type and number of defects observed, no skin or hide was found to fall in grades 1 and 2 whereas grades 3 and 4 accounted for only 0.31-2.47%. On the other hand, majority of the hides and skins were grouped in either low grade (5 and 6) or reject categories. Similarly, out of the total sample examined, pre-, peri- and post-slaughter defects accounted for 70-87%, 36.7-75.3% and 27.2-32.9% respectively. When data were filtered for each defect category to show the impact of each on quality, pre- and postslaughter defects caused maximum loss of quality in cattle hide and sheepskins whereas peri- and post-slaughter defects were responsible for higher loss of quality in goatskins. Similarly, highest rate of rejection was caused by postslaughter problem in cattle hide (66.7%) and goatskins (67%). About 66-73% and 17-18% of hides and skins weredowngraded to low grade and reject categories by cockle problem alone. Whereas scratch was responsible for 45-82% of the products earning low grades. Similarly, flaying defect only has resulted in 22-24% of hides and sheepskins being rejected while deteriorating majority of goatskins to low grade category. Putrefaction, although prevalent in lower proportion, has the capacity to cause major rejection mainly in cattle hides and goatskins compared to sheepskin. In conclusion, in the presence of other major pre-slaughter problems and slaughtering defects, ectoparasite control alone may not significantly improve the quality of both hides and skins. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that hide and skin quality improvement programs should include strategies that can alleviate all major problems from supply side (preslaughter to post-slaughter) stages.