Cow bezoar gallstones, A man has been arrested at an abattoir in Cairo Capital of Egypt, over the theft of Ox Cow gallstones.
What are cow bezoar? How much are they worth? What are cow bezoars used for? Who owns them?
Seahorse Denmark has done some digging into the topic and found a few answers.In the early 2003 a quaint little old Chinese gent would show up at the plant once or twice a year with a set of ornate jeweller’s scales. He would buy ox cow gallstones collected through the year by meatworkers, mostly kept in a Log Cabin tin in their back pocket. Even then, the stones seemed to be worth a whole lot of money. The sole purpose for ox gallstones is in Asian alternate medicines.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Firstly, they are extremely rare. Think oysters: you’ve got to open an awful lot of oysters to find just one natural (i.e. non-cultured) pearl. It’s the same with gallstones.
Quantity of Ox gallstones produced by Australia and Brazil-Cow bezoar gallstones
The Australian cattle industry’s entire production of gallstones each year amounts to about 200kg.The world leader is Brazil, which manages to produce just 1500kg each year. Gallstones can form in the gall bladder of cattle. They are retrieved at the abattoir during the bile extraction process on the eviscera table.
They are most commonly found in older slaughter animals – cows and bulls – but their presence, frequency and quality can be influenced by a wide range of factors, such as access to bore water, for example. Plants killing young yearling type cattle, like Nolans at Gympie, find very few, and those that are found are only pea-sized examples.
Another point is that the ‘stones’ are surprisingly light in weight. Despite looking like river pebbles in the photo published here, they weigh more like a feather.
Cow bezoar gallstones, “They are 75 percent water when first retrieved, and lose a lot of that weight when they dry out,” The question of ‘ownership’ of gall stones harvested at meat-works appeared to have changed over the years. “Thirty years ago they used to be kept mostly by the ‘fronter’ on the kill floor – the guy with the toughest job on the floor,”.
“But then the price started to rise, and the abattoirs themselves knew that they were losing money by not claiming them as part of the animal by-product stream. But some abattoirs still take the money from the gallstone salvage and divide it among the workers, perhaps towards the Christmas party.