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A new condition affecting the pectoralis major muscle of commercial broiler chickens named wooden breast has been recently reported in Finland (Shivo and others 2014). This condition is reported to cause significant economic losses because it causes rejection from human consumption (Shivo and others 2014, Trocino and others 2015). Wooden breast is characterised by its gross and histological appearance. Grossly, pectoral muscles are hard, out bulging and pale. Polyphasic muscular degeneration with variable degrees of interstitial fibrosis and presence of perivenular lymphocytic aggregates are the histological features. Since its first description, several reports have suggested a wide occurrence of this condition in Europe and the USA (Shivo and others 2014, Mudalal and others 2015, Mutryn and others 2015). However, as far as the authors are aware, there are no peer-reviewed reports of wooden breast in the UK.
Between October 2014 and April 2015, pectoralis major muscle samples from five broiler chickens (case nos. 1–5) coming from three different farms were submitted to the Veterinary Pathology Service of the University of Nottingham for histological examination. The submitted muscles corresponded to downgrades in the slaughterhouse. No other skeletal muscles from chickens belonging to those slaughter batches were downgraded. All chickens were 49–50-day-old Ross 308 broilers chickens of commercial flocks with typical in-farm mortality rates and without any outstanding clinical problems. The muscles were downgraded by meat inspectors and …