Analysis of Slaughtering Characteristics and
Beef Marketing in East Timor
Calisto Varela1, Maria Raquel Lucas2*, Vasco Cruz3, Elisa Bettencourt4 and Pedro Henriques5
1National Directorate of Livestock and Veterinary, Dili, Timor Leste, Portugal
2Centre for Advanced Studies in Management and Economics, Department of Management, School of Social Sciences, University of Évora, Portugal
3Med- Mediterranean Institute for Agriculture, Environment and Development, Department of Engineering, School of Sciences and Technologies, University of Évora, Portugal
4Med- Mediterranean Institute for Agriculture, Environment and Development, Department of Veterinary, School of Sciences and Technologies, University of Évora, Portugal Medit and Departamento de Medicina Veterinária, Universidade de Évora, Portugal
5Med- Mediterranean Institute for Agriculture, Environment and Development, Department of Economy, School of Social Sciences, University of Évora, Portugal
Submission: January 10, 2022; Published: February 02, 2022
*Corresponding author: Maria Raquel Lucas, Centre for Advanced Studies in Management and Economics, Department of Management, School of Social Sciences, University of Évora, Portugal
How to cite this article:Calisto V, Maria Raquel L, Vasco C, Elisa B, Pedro H. Analysis of Slaughtering Characteristics and Beef Marketing in East
Timor. Ann Soc Sci Manage Stud. 2022; 7(1): 555704. DOI: 10.19080/ASM.2022.07.555704
The bovine cattle sector in East Timor is rudimentary in its production and marketing. It is dominated by small-scale units and extensive production systems which are based on exclusively natural food. The cattle are sold at the local markets by appearance rather than weight. The animals are generally sold when the appropriate weight is met, and the families are in need of monetary resources. The purpose of this study was to analyze the cost of slaughtering and beef marketing in East-Timor. To this end, two stages of information collection were applied. The first one consisted of secondary research, through a broad literary review which involved theoretical components and empirical studies, hoping to frame the topics covered. The second stage consisted of primary research through a questionnaire given to the heads of different slaughter units in East-Timor. The results allowed for an analysis of the slaughtering and marketing conditions and their respective costs, as well as the identification of the factors that condition them, both positively and negatively. Despite the difficulties and limitations of research - due to the quality of statistical and documentary information or the obstacles to conducting the interviews- the results found still permit relevant conclusions. They also support the suggestion of policy measurements that improve the sector and provide guidelines/clues for future research. Among the barriers to the expansion of the beef production are the low level of technological implementation at the levels of production, slaughter and sale; the precarious road network and the consequent long transportation; the absence of technical assistance; the precarious slaughter system and industrialization of meat; the lack of improved genetic resources. All these barriers require for policy measures to be taken. There is also an utter need for government and veterinary regulations in the districts that can carry out the indispensable pre-slaughter animal inspection and post-slaughter meat inspection. Thus, guaranteeing the health quality of the meat consumed.
Keywords: Cost; Slaughter; Marketing; Cow Meat; East Timor
The bovine sector in East Timor is rudimentary, both in terms of production and trade. The herds are dispersed throughout the national territory, with greater concentration on the district of Bobonaro. The animals are raised freely on the fields, usually without the use of animal feeds, sown pastures or nutritional supplements. The cattle is sold for its appearance and not by weight or taking into consideration the quality of the meat. Consequently, productivity is low and the time it takes for an animal to reach adult weight can reach up to four years. There are no agricultural policy guidelines for beef production. Likewise,
there are no centers for production, reproduction, research and experimentation, as such are understood to be sociocultural activities of the local population.
Despite the goals set by the government (staff increase, approved legislations and regulations on veterinary public health, quarantine and diseases) and the governmental vaccination campaigns, much remains to be done. According to MAP  and AIP-FCE , there is a need for the development of dissemination campaigns that instill basic animal health care and improved nutrition. Moreover, animal identification must be carried out so to oversee the following: disease control, animal movement,
prevention of public health, improvement of animal genetic
quality, reproduction and other production parameters (mortality
rates, fertility and interval between births, average daily gains and
conversion index). Additionally, the lack of animal identification,
licensed slaughter units and the paucity of health statuses, restrict
marketing possibilities, especially those with Indonesia .
Animal raising in East-Timor has the potential to improve
the local levels of nutrition and the population’s access to meat.
It also aids to the country’s ability to self-supply and decrease
beef imports, whilst supporting overall development through
the creation of jobs, the exportation of earnings and increase
of social well-being [3,4]. Be that as it may, there aren’t studies
on bovine costs and marketing, nor relevant information to
support measurements that enhance this sector and improve its
performance. The objective of this study is to analyze the costs
of the slaughter and commercialization of beef in East Timor.
Meaning: to characterize the slaughter locations and conditions; to
compare the cost of slaughter and commercialization in different
units and slaughter locations; to identify the factors that affect
slaughter and marketing costs; to seek the means and alternatives
to minimize these costs without decreasing meat quality; to
characterize the sales and marketing processes whilst proposing
improvements for these operations and guarantee quality and
price to consumers; to propose policy measures that improve the
performance of the slaughter system and the marketing of beef in
The economic theory provides a wide range of concepts
and criteria that make it possible to understand and explain the
economic behavior of individuals and markets . The prices
and quantities of goods vary over time depending on the supply,
demand, and their reaction to other economic variables . The
demand refers specifically to the consumer and the supply is
directly associated with the producer, namely, the factors that
influence production. The factors that most significantly affect
the market supply are called Supply Determinants. They are the
following: prices of the products and raw materials, technology
and expectations .
In general, the higher the price of a good, the greater is the
number of companies that are able and willing to produce, offer
and sell it. However, some companies face high costs due to lack
of experience or market orientation. Consequently, their products
may have lower prices, making the companies economically unfit
to enter the markets. However, if the costs of the production
factors decrease, production becomes more viable and companies
tend to expand production, allowing for the appearance of new
companies on the market, with expectations of profit. Thus, if
the costs of raw materials increase, we will have the opposite
result. Undoubtedly, other situations may occur, such as the non-expansion of production leading to a technological innovations and adjustments or a drop in prices .
Demand is another essential tool for analyzing the functioning
of the markets and it can differ from one market to another.
Marshal  associates demand with the consumer, defining it as
the quantity of a product that buyers are willing to buy to satisfy
their needs at an accepted price at a given moment in time. For
Mankiw , demand represents the desired quantity of a product
that buyers can buy, influenced by the following factors: price,
income, prices of similar products, tastes and expectations.
Consequently, the lower the price, the more willing consumers
are to buy larger quantities. Conversely, consumers are more less
likely to buy a product the higher its price is. Changes in income,
consumer preferences/tastes and the price of substitute or
complementary goods can also influence demand .
Market equilibrium occurs if the quantity demanded and
offered for a product is precisely the same . That is, when
assuming that the price of demand is equal to that of supply which
consequently means that nothing induces an increase or decrease
in the quantity produced . The equilibrium is called stable when
the price of demand is higher than that of the supply, which implies
slightly lower quantities than the equilibrium quantity and, vice
versa. Decreases in production costs can affect market prices and
increase production, subsequently enlarging the supply, which
may change the market balance. In turn, increased consumer
income can induce greater availability to consume, which leads to
an increment in price and eventually a new market balance .
A market includes buyers and sellers who carry out
transactions by leveling the prices of products based on the crosscheck
between supply and demand . When on the market,
producers look for clues to plan and decide what, how much and
how to produce . The markets ensue transactional exchanges
which provide knowledge about the consumers’ preferences and
information which allows for prices to be determined . There
are diverse particularities in the agri-food markets, namely:
i. The fragmentation of the agricultural and livestock
production and its based on biological cycles
ii. They have seasonal and annual variability
iii. They be dependent on random factors such as climate
iv. They have a perishable nature and storage difficulties,
which makes transportation more expensive
v. The products need to be processed, controlled,
standardized, preserved, packaged and differentiated to suit
These particularities influence prices, hinder long-term
planning and cause producers to take risks in the face of
competition. These producers are price takers, with no capacity
to influence the prices individually . These exchanges provide knowledge on preferences. This information is transmitted and determines the correlation between the quantity traded and its
Commercialization regards all the activities necessary to
meet the needs and desires of the consumers on the markets,
such as: planning the availability of the offer, effecting the product
ownership transfer, promoting the means for physical distribution
and facilitating all the informational operations and market access
. Some factors can influence fundamental marketing decisions
and efficiency, which have, in the past, led to slow market
developments. These factors are the following: the production
location (not the market’s), undifferentiated products and the
distance between producers (which complicates the strategic
decisions). However, some trends represent both difficulties
and opportunities in terms of commercialization, such as: the
increase in consumer demand and power, the industrialization
of agribusiness, the increase in the size of agricultural holdings
the greater differentiation of products, the increasing regulation
of agricultural production and the progressive globalization of
Livestock production represents about 4,5% of the total
production in East-Timor. A significant part of the livestock
corresponds to the production of buffalo and Balinese cattle
(Figure 1). Approximately 23% of the families in East-Timor have
bovine cattle and about 10% of the families have buffaloes. The
average number of heads per family differs, being an average of
3.8 heads for cattle and 5.0 heads for buffaloes. The districts with
the highest number of bovine heads are Bobonaro, Viqueque,
Covalima and Lautem. The districts with the greatest number of
buffaloes are Viqueque, Baucau and Lautem.
In East Timor, the dominant production system is extensive
although the semi-intensive system accounts for 20 to 30%
 of the totality. These have reduced or null production costs
(Dahlan et al., 2010) as its animals are left to graze freely, without
manufactured shade or stables and no technological intervention.
These systems face limitations related to the difficulty in achieving
the animals’ desired live weight, the low rates of average daily
gain, low fertility rates and also the high animal mortality rate
(which mainly affects young and female specimens). The two main
causes of animal deaths are diseases (84.1%) (mainly caused by
septicemia induced by Pasteurella multocida) and nutritional
deficiencies (6.9%) . The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries’
vaccination plan includes cattle and buffaloes vaccination for this
infectious agent [5,14] which, in collaboration with protozoa and
brucellosis, has an impact on public health .
Cattle grazing quotas differ by district. Ailéu, Ermera and Díli
have very high densities, greater than 4 heads per ha of natural
pasture. The districts of Manufahi, Lautem and Covalima have
very low quotas, less than one head per ha of natural pasture.
The larger districts (Viqueque, Lautem, Oecussi, Bobonaro and
Covalima) that produce both buffaloes and cattle have volumes
lower than 2 heads per hectare of natural pasture.
The slaughter of cattle was only recently recognized as
important, mainly because of its influence on the quality of meat,
consumer safety and the opening of the National Slaughterhouse
of Tibar. The slaughtering is carried out mainly at the meat selling
points which, in the Dili District, are: the market Halilaran, the
ex Comoro Market, Raikotu, Comoro, New market in Manleuana,
Ailelehun and Bidau mota claran. The sale process can be executed
through wholesalers, retailers, butchers and directly to the final
consumer. Data from the East Java Province Livestock Services
annual report, Indonesia, (2005) shows a total of 370,893 cattle
specimens slaughtered in 2004, with an annual growth of 0.92%
and a beef production of 71,203.804 kg. The annual report of
West Timor Province Livestock Services, Mataram, Indonesia,
(2005), presents, for its slaughterhouse alone, a periodicity of 100 bovine heads per day. There is no information on the slaughter costs in East Timor or the value of transporting live animals from
the districts into Dili. There are also no regulations on animal
transport nor administrative payments. However, the Government,
through the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, has already
created a License form model (booklet) for the circulation and
transportation of live animals from the National Directorate for
Livestock and Veterinary of East Timor [16,17].
The values of meat consumption in East-Timor are still far from
those observed in more developed countries. FAO data indicates a
decrease in per capita consumption from 45.6 kg in 1992 to 32.1
kg in 2007. According to this data, the consumption of about 32 kg
was distributed among the different types of meat as follows: 5.1%
beef, 29.2% pork, 16.5% chicken, 1.3% goat / sheep and 47.9%
other meats. The latter include buffalo, horse, dog and wild animal
(FAO) meats. The MAF  study on the families located in the
different districts showed an average meat consumption of 14.4
kg/ capita/year. The urban and coastal areas/districts generally
showed a higher consumption than the more rural areas, with the
exception of Oecussi. In regards to the meats consumed, chicken
stood out with 8.22 kg / capita / year, followed by pork with 2.224
kg / capita / year, buffalo with 1.310 kg / capita / year, and beef
with 0.963 kg / capita / year and ewe with 0.470 Kg / capita / year.
The basic method used in the present investigation is that of
descriptive analysis, which, according to Nasir , permits the
analysis of a situation or event at a given moment, whilst removing
implications of the analyzed problems and proposing clues for
their solution. The methodological procedure included two stages
of information collection consisting of primary research and
secondary research. The latter was supported by a broad literary
review on the theoretical components and empirical studies
on the costs of bovine slaughter and marketing as well as the
factors that affect them. In the primary survey, a questionnaire
was applied to a convenience sample composed of the individuals
responsible for slaughter units in 13 different districts (Aileu,
Ainaro, Bobonaro, Baucau, Covalima, Dili, Ermera, Lautém, Liquica,
Manatuto, Manufahi, Viqueque, Oecusse), including the Tibar
National Slaughterhouse. The main disadvantage of sampling
is the impossibility of generalization, as conclusions only apply
to the surveyed units, although this process is less costly and of
simpler application .
The data obtained was treated using descriptive statistical
measures, adopting the SPSS statistical program, which
is conducive to a concise, synthetic and understandable
representation of the collected data. The analysis was carried out
through the elaboration of tables and graphs and the calculation of
measures and/or indicators considered adequate for the analysis
of the information gathered .
35 questionnaires were carried out and distributed among
the 13 Districts of the country as follows: Liquiça (4 including the
National Slaughterhouse), Dili (11), Aileu (3), Oecussi (3), Ainaro
(2), Covalima (2), Manatuto (2), Lautem (2), Viqueque (2), Baucau
(1), Bobonaro (1), Ermera (1) and Manufahi (1).
Of the 35 slaughterhouses, 20 (57.1%) slaughter every day and
the remaining 15 (42.9%) slaughter solely once a week. Almost all
slaughterers in Dili (90.9%) work daily while in rural areas they
work mostly once a week (66.7%). These differences between Dili
and rural areas are statistically significant (F = 13.218 and p- value
In regards to the maximum and minimum number of animals
slaughtered per day, 5% of the slaughterers have a minimum of
5 animals and 10% have a maximum of 5 animals slaughtered.
Most slaughter at least 1 animal (60%) daily, although 35% of
the slaughterers only slaughter 1 animal at most. From the 35
slaughterers, on a weekly basis, 7 (46.7%) always slaughter only
1 animal, 1 (6.7%) always slaughters 6 animals, and the rest
(46.6%) slaughter between 1, 2 and 3 animals. When comparing
the number of cattle slaughtered per day versus the weekly quota,
it can be seen that the values observed in Dili are higher than of
the other districts. The differences are significant between Dili
and rural slaughterers (Table 1: pvalue <0.05).
Nearly all of the slaughtering takes place at night (75%) and
only a small minority (25%) takes place during the day. This
reflects that most slaughterers prefer to slaughter at night in order
to avoid potential tensions. Moreover, animals tend to be calmer
at night. In Dili all slaughtering takes place at night while in rural
areas they have the following distribution: night (58.8%) and day
(41.2%). The differences between Dili and the rural areas are
statistically significant (F = 7.159, p-value = 0.013). Furthermore,
rural slaughtering is illegal and it has poorer conditions when
compared to the National Slaughterhouse in Dili, that fulfills the
Concerning the slaughter age of the animals, the majority
(82.9%) of the slaughtered animals are aged between 3 and 4
years old, 77.1% are aged over 5 years old and only 37.1% are
slaughtered at 1 or 2 years old.In Dili we tend to witness the
slaughter of animals over 3 years old whereas animals aged 1 to 2
years old are more common in rural areas. These differences are
significant for animals 5 years and over: p-value = 0.29. The older
age (3 and 4 years old) can be justified by two reasons. On one
hand, the animals originate from local breeds and are exploited
in an extensive system, which provides slower growth than that
of an intensive breeding system and other types of breed. On the
other hand, the farmers are not yet aware of the importance that
animal weighing has on slaughtering. Such means that in order to
negotiate and decide the sale price of a specimen, the animals are
assessed only visually, through their body condition and estimated
According to the answers given, the districts with larger animal
sales are Viqueque, Manufahi, Lautém, Manatuto and Covalima.
The vast majority of slaughterers in the districts buy the animals
from the district itself, although there are some exceptions. Those
from Baucau purchase in Lautem, those from Ermera buy from
Covalima and Manufahi and lastly Ainaro and Liquiçá buy from
Covalima. Virtually all of the Dili slaughterers buy in more than
one district (Table 2).
Most of the slaughtered animals have identification (88.2%),
mostly iron markings (96.4%), and are transported by bus
(88.2%), although, in rural areas walking is considered. The
transport time until the animal arrives at the slaughter place has
an average duration of 4.1 hours, with 54.3% of the animals taking
less than 3 hours and 16.7% more than 10 hours. In Dili, animal
transport takes an average of 7.8 hours, while in rural areas it
takes 2.8 hours, this difference is statistically significant (F =
18.793 p-value = 0.000).
Among the 35 slaughterers, 42.9% fast the animals before the
slaughter takes place, although they are not subject to veterinary
inspection (90.95%) and are often immobilized by leg-tying
(48.7% of cases). The average number of fasting hours is 10.3
hours, with 4 slaughterers fasting for 24 hours (26.7%) and
53.3% of the slaughterers fasting for less than 7 hours. There are
no differences in the realization and duration of the fasting time
between Dili and the rural areas. The knife (57.1%) followed by
the machete (48.6%) and dima (28.6%), are the instruments used
The cutting of slaughtered animal carcasses is performed on
the ground. The animals are mostly cut into 4 pieces (34.6%) or 5
(30.8%). In Dili, the carcasses are cut into 5 parts (45.5%) while in
rural areas they are cut in 4 parts (53.3%). The carcasses are also
not inspected by a veterinarian nor are there any official control
The number of workers is variable, and it can be between 2
and 13 people. In Dili, the amount of workers is higher than that
of rural areas. The hiring regime can be done on a daily, weekly
or monthly basis. The average daily wage is 6 USD, the weekly
wage is 30 USD and finally the month wage is 135 USD. The wages
are always higher in Dili than in rural areas. The vast majority of
slaughterers started their activity after 1999 and the slaughterers
in Dili are older.
The prices practiced by the slaughterers aim to remunerate
all the costs involved in the production and sale of the livestock.
Slaughterers usually buy animals at different prices, depending
on the specimen’s age and gender. Distinct prices are applied to
different ages (1 to 2 years, 3 to 4 years and above 5 years old).
Body condition does not influence the prices. When comparing the
gender distribution of prices, Figure 2 revealed a repeatedly lower price for female specimens. The prices of males vary between 579 (minimum average) and 727 USD (maximum average) and
for females between 415 (average of the minimum) and 487 USD
The comparison between the minimum and maximum prices
for females and males shows that the minimum prices and the
maximum prices are significantly different for both genders. The
average price for males (653 USD) is higher and significantly
different from the average price for females (451 USD) (Table 3).
The minimum prices for females and males in Dili are lower than
in rural areas, although they are not significantly different. The
maximum prices for males and females are higher in Dili than in
rural areas and are significantly different. Prices for both genders
are higher in Dili than in rural areas, although this result is not
significantly different (Table 4).
Most buyers use differences in the animal’s age in order to
estimate and decide the prices of the live animal, and it includes a
level of negotiation between the buyer and the seller. Meaning that
traders are not yet used to buying animals for their live weight.
Also, the prices for each age are different. Between the ages
of 1 to 2 years old the average minimum price is 330 USD, and
the average maximum price is 352 USD. Figure 3 shows the
distribution of these prices, referred by the slaughterers. In both cases, the most reported values are 200 and 300 USD. For animals aged from 3 to 4 years old, the average minimum price is 516 USD,
and the average maximum price is 540 USD. Figure 4 shows the
distribution of these prices, reported by the slaughterers. In both
cases the most reported values are 400 and 600 USD.
For animals aged 5 years and over the average minimum price
is 673 USD and the average maximum price is 778 USD. Figure 5
shows the distribution of the prices referred by the slaughterers,
being that for the minimum price the most observed frequency
is 600 and 800 USD and for the maximum price 700, 800 and
1000 USD. It should be noted that although more expensive, older
animals (over 5 years old) are the ones with the worst quality of
The comparison between the minimum and maximum prices
for each of the three age groups shows that the minimum and
maximum prices are significantly different for each of them (Table
5). All minimum, maximum and average prices for the three age
groups are higher in Dili than in the rural areas. The prices in Dili
are significantly different from the prices in rural areas for the age
class 1 to 2 years old and the age class 5 years old and older, but
for a p-value of 10% (Table 6).
The average quantities sold by slaughterers in Dili and in rural
areas are shown in Table 7. Table 8 shows the comparison of the
average selling prices of the different animal parts in Dili and in
the rural areas. The price of bones, lungs, intestines and stomachs
is higher in rural areas than in Dili. The differences for lungs,
intestines and stomachs are significant at 10%. All other prices
are higher in Dili than in rural areas and the differences are not
significant, except for feet.
Channels of Commercialization
With regard to live animals, most slaughterers buy the animals
directly and only from the producers (48.6%), or from producers
and traders (45.7%) an only 5.7% buy from traders only. In the
urban circuit (Dili) traders predominate although there are
producers as well. In the rural areas the purchase of animals is
mainly done directly from the producers. The importance given to
traders in Dili is probably justified by distance and/or difficulty in
transport between producers and slaughterhouses. Long, difficult
and painful transportation, animal fatigue and stressful situations
have a major negative influence on the meat quality and food
Meat marketing channels are also essential in order to preserve
food value. The results obtained point out that, after the slaughter
of the animals, all the meat is purchased from slaughterers and
destined for the final consumer (100%), to retailers (51.5%),
restaurants (74.2%), supermarkets (23, 3%) and butchers
(3.8%). The figure shows some differences between Dili and the
rural areas when concerning retailers and supermarkets because
retailers and supermarkets are more important in Dili. The types
of parts purchased by retailers are mainly parts of the carcass
(66.7%), only 26.7% purchase the entire carcass and 100% of
the buyers acquire parts of the carcass at the butcher shop. In the
supermarket, 25.0% buys carcass parts and 75% purchase the
entire carcass, while in the restaurant 85% buys carcass parts and
only 15% buys the entire carcass.
International consumers (6.1%) buy less meat when
compared to the national consumers (93.9%). This fact that can be
explained by the lack of confidence of the international consumer,
in part, justified by the constant lack of veterinary inspection, but
it can also be explained by the lack of knowledge that is made
available on the slaughter and marketing conditions of the meat.
Organizations, whether governmental or private, acquire their
meat from slaughterers, with decreasing percentage importance
for institutions linked to education (61.5%), hospitals and other
institutions linked to health (38.5%), prison and police affairs
Most of the transportation of the meat for sale is done by
car (48.6%), followed by hand (37.1%) and motorcycle (14.3%).
Manual transport through hand care (45.8%) predominates in
rural areas, while in urban areas transportation by car (72.7%)
is dominant. The differences in meat transport between rural and
urban areas are significant at 10% (F = 3.705; p-value = 0.063).
Cold (75.9%) is the prevailing form of conservation.
As for general conditions, the importance of having drinking
water in most slaughterhouses is important to maintain minimum
public health conditions. The existence of cement flooring also
facilitates good cleaning practices and reduces health risks.
Regarding the existence of a wall and roof, it is difficult to assess
the advantages of their existence, which is more frequent in
rural areas. Although the roof and wall protect from insects and
exposure to the sun, they must always be associated with good
ventilation and cooling conditions that preserve the quality of the
This study and the information collected allowed for the
drawing of some interesting conclusions, especially given that
there are no academic and scientific studies on the subject. The
first conclusion to be drawn is that the process of slaughtering
animals in most East-Timorese slaughter units is still not
desirable. First the animal arrives at the slaughterer fatigued by
the transport, being placed in a waiting area for variable time.
It is then lined up, stunned, slaughtered and cut to the ground.
Since all the pieces are not sold fresh, the meat is kept cold. Even
so, the Timorese beef sector has undergone several changes
in recent years, due to operations that started at the National
Slaughterhouse in Tibar, the increase in national and international
normative sanitary requirements, the market demands and the
increased requirements from many of the agents involved in the
The sale of the beef slaughtered in Dili is purchased in more
than one district, mainly the following: Bobonaro, Viqueque,
Covalima, Lauten and Oecussi. Animals fast but they are generally
not subject to any veterinary inspection either before or after the
slaughter. The animals are immobilized by lashing the legs and
they are slaughtered with different utensils, the most common
being a knife, followed by machete and dima. The pistol is only
used at the Tibar National Slaughterhouse.
Although it was not possible to compare the cost of bovine
slaughter and marketing in different units and slaughter places,
due to the lack of reliable records and data, the prices practiced by the slaughterers allow us to draw some conclusions. It should be noted that the majority of slaughterers purchase based on the
condition of the animal, although such does not influence the
pricing. The purchase price varies widely between genders and
age classes, with males being more expensive than females and
older animals being pricier than younger, in absolute terms. All
minimum, maximum and average prices by age class are still higher
in Dili than in rural areas. As to the different parts of the carcass,
prices are higher in Dili when compared to those practiced in rural
areas, with the exception of bones, lungs, intestines and stomach,
which cheaper in Dili when compared to rural areas.
The marketing channels include all the activities necessary
to make meat available from producers to consumers, including
the determination of product value, for both live animals and for
the meat. In the rural areas, the purchase of live animals is done
directly from the producers and concerns two parties: traders
and producers. In urban slaughterers, particularly in Dili, the
role of traders is more important due to the distance between
producers and slaughterhouses. The meat marketing circuits,
which are entirely intended for the end consumer, include
retailers, intermediaries in the restaurant sector, supermarkets
and butchers. The means of transport used are mostly a truck or
car, wheelbarrow and motorcycle, the former predominating in
urban areas while the other dominate the rural settings.
The factors that condition slaughter and beef sales were as
follows: a) Transport of animals, which must not be carried out
under conditions unfavorable to the animal; b) Rest after transport
required to ensure adequate meat conservation; c) Need for
health inspection of the animal before and after slaughter to check
the health status of the animal and the meat intended for human
consumption; d) Reduce the possibilities of contamination of meat
in different stages (slaughter, bleeding, skinning, evisceration,
cutting, washing and removal of the extremities) for hygienicsanitary
and commercial reasons; e) Need for a cold chain that
guarantees the maintenance of meat quality; f) Transport of the
carcass and meat pieces free from contamination; g) Definition of
packaging and labeling conditions whenever justified and at the
option or imposition of the buyer; and, h) Assess Animal Welfare
practices and environmental impacts.
Finally, this study proposes policy measures that aim to improve
the performance of the bovine slaughter and marketing systems in
East-Timor. The low level of technological implementation at the
production level, slaughter and commercialization, the precarious
road network and the consequent long transportation time, the
absence of technical assistance, the precarious slaughter system
and industrialization of meat and the lack of improved genetic
resources, are barriers to the expansion of cattle production
on which policy measures must be taken. There must also be
governmental and veterinary regulations within the districts that
are able to provide the necessary pre-slaughter animal inspection
and post-slaughter meat inspection and thus guarantee the
health quality of the meat consumed. The creation of another
slaughterhouse and a cutting unit is also suggested, one similar
to the National Slaughterhouse so to ensure the slaughter, cutting,
packaging and storage of meat with guaranteed quality, both for
the domestic and foreign markets.
It is also important to develop further research in the area
of cattle production, to implement a long-term disease control
management system and to expand the animal vaccination
program. It will be necessary to train veterinary clinicians, to help
with animal care, and to train local farmers: this can occur, through
reforms on education and training systems. Eventually leading to
the creation of an Association of Cattle Breeders that will watch
over production, promotion, strategies and will be able to suggest
appropriate policy and legislation measures.
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