The livers from 6337, 12-to 16-month-old heifers slaughtered in 10 domestic abattoirs over a period of two years were examined; 368 (5.8 per cent) had gross lesions, of which 120 (1.9 per cent) had abscesses, 74 (1.17 per cent) had only scarring, and 44 (0.7 per cent) had telangiectasis (so-called ‘sawdust’ liver). Of the 120 livers in which abscesses were detected, 53 (44 per cent) had a single large abscess (>4 cm diameter), 44 (36.6 per cent) had a single small abscess (<4 cm), and 23 (19 per cent) had more than two abscesses; in 20 of them (16.6 per cent) the abscesses were resolving, and in 10 (8.3 per cent) the abscesses were ruptured. Forty-three (35.8 per cent) of the livers with abscesses had adhesions to the diaphragm and diaphragmatic lung lobes, three (2.5 per cent) had adhesions to other abdominal organs, 12 (10 per cent) also had scarring and two (1.7 per cent) also had lesions due to liver fluke. There was no significant association between the liver fluke lesions and the abscesses. In 46 (38.3 per cent) of the livers the abscesses were located in the mid-dorsal diaphragmatic or dorsocranial area of the liver; 28 (23.3 per cent) were adjacent to the posterior vena cava and could as a result have caused thromboembolic disease. Clinical signs attributable to the abscesses were observed in only one animal.