The Incidence of Plastics in the Rumens of Cattle, Sheep and Goats


This study was undertaken to determine the incidence, volume and types of plastics found in rumi- nant livestock slaughtered at the Kumasi Abattoir Company Limited at Kaase, Kumasi. The project was carried out in two phases (1e. Phase 1 and 2). During the first phase over a three week period, the rumens from a total of 315 cattle, 503 sheep and 962 goats were examined to determine the presence and absence of plastics in the rumen after slaughter. In the second phase, plastics that had accumulated in the rumens of 10 cattle, 10 sheep and 10 goats were collected and conveyed to the Department of Animal Science for volume and weight measurements to be taken. In addition, the colour, shape and type of plastics were noted. The plastics were more prevalent in sheep (76%), followed by cattle (29%) and least in goats (6%). The mean percentage volumes occupied by plastics In the various animals were: sheep 4.38%, cattle 3.20% and goats 2.55%. It was established that the plastics were the thermoplastic types and the two main colours were the black and transparent types. Plastics which had accumulated in the rumens were in chain-like forms, interwoven and twisted. To help minimize these levels of plastics Incidence in the rumen, the following recommen- dations were made: Proper disposal of plastics, promotion of the intensive system of animal rear- ing and avoidance of feeding animals on refuse dumps and proper feeding methods which should include provision of the most appropriate quantity and quality of feed for ruminant livestock.


Okai, D. B. H. ( Department of Animal Science, Professor,,

0322060325), Boateng, M., Opoku-Agyemang, H.

Place of Publication:

This article was published by the Department of Animal Science, KNUST, Kumasi

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