The Welfare of Pigs


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Pigs were transported on three decks and distributed into 9 out of 10 compartments four on the upper deck, three in the middle deck and two in the bottom deck of the vehicle; Figure 1. Compartment 6 was not filled due to load limitations. The trailer was bedded with wood shavings in the summer and straw and wood shavings in the winter. The trailer compartments were loaded in the following order: 5, 1, 2, 4, 3, 9, 10, 7, and 8. At loading, pigs were moved along an alley, up the chute into the trailer and then through ramps in groups of four or five using boards and the electric prod as necessary.

The loading crew did not change between seasons.

European Centre of Animal Welfare - Pigs - EURCAW-Pigs

The location of compartments and distribution of pigs by compartment in the pot-belly trailer. Internal ramps are solid lines in compartments 5, 8, and Only barrows were chosen for these evaluations. Feed was withdrawn from the pigs 5—6 h prior to transport.


  1. 1. Introduction.
  2. Pig Welfare Assessment!
  3. Effect of castration on the welfare of pigs.
  4. Go to dossiers:;

Pigs were transported for 8 h and unloaded at the plant using boards and electric prods as necessary. After 1. Heart rates were recorded by Polar heart rate monitors Polar Electro Canada at 5 s intervals for the duration of loading and transportation. These were installed 24 h prior to transportation to allow animals to recover from the stress of this handling procedure. Belts were removed immediately after unloading. Data were downloaded and the average heart rate for each pig was determined for each of the experimental periods up to and including unloading. Plasma was then transferred into 1.

All analyses were done in triplicate. The intra-assay coefficients of variation for CK and lactate concentration data were 3.

OIE: new chapter regarding the welfare of pigs

Following slaughter, carcasses were eviscerated, split and blast chilled for 2 h. Hot carcass weight HCW and lean meat yield were recorded to characterize the population under study. According to the ITP scale, bruises due to biting during fighting are recognized as being of 5—10 cm in length, comma shaped and concentrated in high number in the anterior head and shoulders and posterior ham regions of the carcass. Long 10 to 15 cm , thin 0.

mongtravansiref.ga At 24 h post-mortem , color data were collected on the LT and SM muscle after a 45 min bloom period. Briefly, three 25 mm diameter cores were removed from the center of 2. At the end of the 48 h storage period, muscle cores where removed from their containers, surface moisture was carefully dabbed, cores were reweighed, and drip loss percentage was calculated by dividing the difference between initial and final core weights by the initial core weight.


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  • The experimental design was a one-way factorial with the compartments as the levels of the factor to be compared in a randomized complete block design weeks as blocks using the SAS software SAS and repeated mixed model analyses for heart rate data only to test for any effects of season, compartment, transport event and their interactions. Considering the difference in transport schedule between seasons, for a reliable comparison only heart rate data recorded in the initial transport phase, which was of the same length in each season, were considered in the analysis.

    No significant effect of the trailer compartment as a single factor or in interaction with the season was found on any physiological or meat quality variable data not shown. More recently, Goumon et al. It is usually reported that pigs mostly stand in the initial phase of transport as they usually need time to acclimate in the truck after the departure from the farm [ 19 , 20 ].

    Heart rate from loading at the farm to 8 h transit time of pigs transported in a pot belly trailer in summer six journeys and winter five journeys. From the first stop, transport schedules changed between the seasons statistical differences were not considered : in winter, first stop lasted min and heart rate recording ends after the second transport phase, and in summer, first stop lasted 30 min. Second transport phase min, second stop 15 min and heart rate recording ends after the third transport phase.

    The higher heart rate recorded in pigs loaded on the UD may result from their physical effort to negotiate the steep ramp to have access to this location. Whereas, the loading order may explain the higher heart rates in pigs located in the MD as this was the last deck to be loaded and pigs were still under the effects of loading stress at the time of departure from the farm.

    Effects of animal location during transport on the pot-belly PB trailer on heart rate 1 average values in summer. Although a couple of companion papers reported a greater behavioral response more slips and vocalizations [ 17 ] to loading on the UD and colder temperatures in this deck during winter transports [ 21 ], heart rates of pigs did not differ between truck locations at any time in this season in this study Table 2. Effects of animal location during transport in the PB trailer on heart rate average values 1 in winter. As no interaction was found for blood variables between season and animal location in the trailer, data were pooled and presented for each variable separately.

    Higher lactate and CK concentrations are usually observed in blood of pigs subjected to rigorous physical exertion as a result of muscle tissue damage [ 22 ]. As such, both blood parameters are indicators of muscle fatigue, but in response to different types of stressors. Based on the relatively rapid rate of plasma lactate concentration increase 4 min and return to basal levels 2 h after physical exercise [ 23 ], the greater blood lactate concentrations at slaughter in winter than in summer may reflect the greater activity longer latency to rest in the lairage pen observed in a companion study in this season [ 17 ].

    In this season pigs were thus more fatigued at slaughter as they stood more than lying in lairage and could not recover from transport and handling stress. Correa et al. Differently from blood lactate, CK concentration in blood is strongly correlated with long-term physical stress as it reaches a maximum concentration peak 6 h after the physical effort and does not return to basal levels until 48 h afterward [ 23 ].

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    Based on its dissipation pattern in blood after stress, the higher blood CK concentrations in winter in this study may reflect the greater fatigue of pigs at slaughter in this season. In this study, fatigue may be associated to the higher incidence of slips and falls at loading recorded in winter [ 17 ]. All these events may have resulted in muscle tissue damage and increased CK release into the blood flow. Similar to Correa et al. On average, HCW of the population under study was The higher skin damage score in summer may be associated with the increased frequency of slips on the loading chute and truck ramp and slips, falls and overlaps observed at unloading in a companion study [ 17 ].

    The reduced proportion of bruises in winter in this study contradicts the results from previous studies which either reported a higher incidence of bruised carcasses in this season due to increased fighting or mounting behavior in pigs huddling to maintain their body temperature [ 26 , 27 ] or which failed to find a seasonal variation in skin bruise scores [ 28 ].

    Skin damage score and percentage of bruised carcasses of pigs transported on the PB trailer according to the season and the truck location. The greater proportion of fighting-type bruises recorded in the summer compared to winter is hard to explain considering that pigs laid more during transport and took shorter time to rest in the lairage pen after transport in summer compared to winter [ 17 ].

    Despite the variation in pig postures observed between truck compartments at unloading, with pigs from the top compartments being slower to move out and those from the bottom compartments overlapping more [ 17 ], bruise score did not vary between truck locations in this study.

    Animal Welfare Aspects of Good Agricultural Practice pig farming Part 3 of 3

    It is known that cold and heat stress have an impact on ante - and post-mortem muscle glycogen stores leading to higher incidence of DFD and PSE pork, respectively [ 8 , 9 ]. This work is intended for academics, researchers, students, animal welfare associations, industry and anyone who is involved in the production chain or concerned about the welfare of pigs being raised on farms. New titles:. For institutional orders, please contact sales wageningenacademic. Recommend this book to a librarian. Editors Luigi Faucitano and Allan L.

    Piglets get to stay with their mothers for longer periods of time. Because the pigs have space and continuous access to the outdoors, tail docking is unnecessary and, in fact, is prohibited by these programs.


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