Volume 10, Issue 3: 85-92; May 25, 2020
ASSESSMENT ON DEFECTS OF WET-BLUE HIDE AND
PICKLED SKIN AT MODJO TANNERY
Behailu Amde FELEKE1 and Yonas Gizaw HABTEMICHAEL2
1BSc, MSc, Federal Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, Export Abattoirs Inspection and Certification Directorate, P.O. Box 62347 Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
2DVM, MVSc; Jigjiga University, College of Veterinary Medicine, P.O.Box.1020 Jigjiga, Ethiopia
ABSTRACT: Across-sectional study was conducted from February to June 2015 with the objectives of identifying
the major types of hide and skin defects and determining their prevalence in pickled skins of sheep and wet
blue goat skins and hides originated from two districts namely Hitosa and Dodota of East Arsi Zone at the Colba
and Gelan tanneries in Modjo town. A total of 389 wet blue cattle hides, 385 wet blue goat skin and 399 pickled
sheep skin were examined. The study finding showed that there exist various defects responsible for the decline
in quality of skin and hide. The major defects at the wet blue hide were flay cut (59.1%), gouge mark (42.2%),
and putrefaction (35.2%). In sheep pickled skin higher percentage of cockle (36.9%), gouge mark (28.3%) and
scratch (27.0%) were observed. In wet blue goat skin, cockle (48.1%), veininess (44.6%) and crack (41.9%) were
the major defects observed. The prevalence of cockle, veininess, scar, corduroying, crack, gouge mark, poor
pattern and brand mark were significantly higher (P<0.05) in goat skin at wet blue stage than pickled sheep
skin while putrefaction and shoat pox were significantly higher (P<0.05) in sheep skin compared to goat wet
blue skin. The major defects that leads to rejection of wet blue hide were flay cut while cockle in sheep and goat
skin. In pickled sheep skin, grade of 1-3 accounts 14% and grade 4-7 accounts 86% of the total observation.
This study showed large proportion of skin and hides were subjected to rejection because of poor quality and
this implies that integrated efforts towards improved livestock husbandry and better health care are vital issues
for production of better-quality hide and skin. Furthermore, effective extension system and programs that could
raise public awareness on ectoparasites and skin diseases control as well as on methods of flaying, preservation
and handling of skins should be implemented.
Keywords: Cockle, Fly cut, Grade, Hide, Quality, Rejection, Skin
Abbreviations: CSA: Central Statistical Authority; UNIDO: United Nations Industrial Development Organization;
QSAE: Quality Standard Authority of Ethiopia; SPSS: Statistical Package for Social Science; FAO: Food and
Ethiopia has 53.4 million cattle, 25.5 million sheep and 22.7 million goats. These numbers illustrate a considerable
potential for the leather industry in the country (Central Statistical Authority, CSA, 2011/2012). This places the country as
one of the richest countries in livestock resources. It has a huge potential for production of hide and skins. For instance,
its potential was estimated at 3.78 million cattle hides, 8.41 million sheep skins and 8.42 million goatskins in 2012/13
(CSA, 2013). This raw material of the leather industry is mainly derived from local areas of the country where basic
amenities for slaughtering and subsequent marketing are either not in existence or lacking. Additional sources of hides
and skins include slaughter slabs, municipal slaughterhouses and the limited number of export abattoirs. With regard to
skin production, except the export abattoirs engaged in the production of chilled mutton and goat meat for export, the
contribution of other slaughtering premises in terms of skin supply is very negligible (Ahmed, 2001).
operational tanneries in the country have a soaking capacity for 153,650 sheep and goat skins and 9,725 cattle hides per
day (United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO, 2008). Nevertheless, they are not working to full
capacity, as the hides and skins become available only when meat is needed and are not supplied for sustained leather
The leather industry processes raw hides and skins and produces semi-processed and finished leather both for export
and for local markets (Abadi, 2000). The semi-processed products are pickled sheep skin, wet blue goat skin and wet blue
hides. Pickling denotes to treating unhaired, limed, delimed and bated hides or skins with a solution of salt and acid (e.g.
sulphuric acid or formic acid) to preserve them or prepare them for the tanning process. Wet blue skins or hides refer to
products that have been chrome tanned but not dried (Quality Standard Authority of Ethiopia, QSAE, 2008).
The leather industry sector is one of the growing Agricultural export commodities in Ethiopia. However, the sector is
constrained by different factors like external parasites, inappropriate management of animals, faults during slaughtering
Citation: Feleke BA and Habtemichael YG (2020). Assessment on defects of wet-blue hide and pickled skin at Modjo Tannery. Online J. Anim. Feed Res., 10(3): 85-92.