[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: L. 2013. Welfare and carcass and meat quality of pigs being transported for two hours using two vehicle types during two seasons of the year. Can. J. Anim. Sci. 93: 43Á55. A total of 3756 pigs were transported for 2 h in summer and winter using a ''pot-belly'' trailer (PB) and a hydraulic double-decked truck (DD) in order to assess the effect of vehicle design on animal welfare and carcass and meat quality. Animal welfare was assessed in randomly selected barrows by measuring heart rate of pigs and lactate and creatine phospho-kinase (CPK) concentrations in exsanguination blood. Skin damage was scored and meat quality was evaluated in the longissimus dorsi (LD), semimembranosus (SM) and adductor (AD) muscles. Heart rates in winter were higher (PB0.01) during transport, at unloading and in lairage. Blood CPK and lactate concentrations at slaughter were higher (PB0.05 and PB0.01, respectively) in pigs transported on the PB trailer. Bruises increased in winter (PB0.001) and in pigs from the DD truck (P B0.05). The pHu was higher (P B0.01) in all muscles and L* value was lower (P B0.05) in the LD muscle from pigs transported in the PB trailer. Overall, the results of this study indicate that the type of vehicle, animal location in the truck and the season affect the welfare of pigs during transport with clear consequences on skin bruises and pork quality variation.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In each of 12 weeks between May and September, 2011, two identical pot-belly trailers were loaded with 208 pigs each and transported to the slaughter plant (2 h trip). One of the two trailers was equipped with a water sprinkling system (WS) installed inside the truck compartments whereas the other one transported pigs under standard commercial conditions (control, CONT). The water sprinkling system was activated for 5 min in the stationary truck, both at the farm (at the end of loading) and at the plant (immediately before unloading). Blood lactate levels at exsanguination, carcass and meat quality traits were assessed on a sub-sample of randomly selected pigs (n¼384/576). Exsanguination lactate levels were lower (P¼ 0.02) in WS pigs compared to CONT, regardless of ambient temperature. Concurrently, the pH value of the Longissimus dorsi (LD) muscle at 1 h post-mortem (pH1) was greater (P¼ 0.009) in WS pigs compared to CONT, regardless of ambient temperature. The effect of water sprinkling interacted with location inside the truck and ambient temperature. Water sprinkling reduced exsanguina-tion lactate levels in pigs transported in compartments 5 and 8 (which are located at the front and at the rear of the middle deck, respectively) such that lower lactate was observed in compartment 5 at 15 1C (P¼ 0.03) and 18 1C (P¼ 0.009), and in compartment 8 at 22 1C (P¼ 0.03) and 25 1C (P¼ 0.04). In compartment 5, the pH1 value in the LD muscle of WS pigs was higher than in the CONT group at 18 1C (P¼0.002), 22 1C (Po0.001) and 25 1C (P¼ 0.005); pH1 in the SM muscle of WS pigs was lower at 18 1C (P¼ 0.01) and 22 1C (P¼ 0.02); and drip loss in the WS group was lower than in the CONT group at 22 1C (P¼ 0.01), and at 25 1C (P¼ 0.02). No significant effect was detected in compartment 4 (which is located at the rear of the top floor), or in compartment 9 (which is located at the front to the bottom deck). The results of this study showed that the sprinkling protocol applied was effective, particularly in some trailer compartments, in reducing stress response and improving pork quality of pigs transported in pot-bellied trailers.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The process of transportation can be seen as a succession of stressors, from which pigs may not have time to recover before slaughter. The aim of this study was to determine the extent to which the duration of the rest time given to near-market weight pigs after an initial exposure to exercise affected their recovery from subsequent exercise. Eighteen groups of 3 gilts were exercised (Ex1) through a standard handling course, including two 19° ramps, and then held in a holding pen for either 35 (RT35), 75 (RT75) or 150 (RT150) min (rest period 1, RP1). Afterwards, pigs were exercised a second time (Ex2) and left to rest for 150 min. Recovery from Ex2 (rest period 2, RP2) was assessed using measures of heart rate (HR), respiratory rate (RR), skin temperature (ST) and posture. Repeated measures and regression analysis were used to analyze the data. For RT75 pigs, there were no detrimental effects of Ex2 on HR, RR and handling time (P > 0.05, for all) during the exercise and recovery periods. ST during Ex2 was greater than ST during Ex1 (P < 0.001), while ST during RP1 did not differ from ST during RP2 (P > 0.05). Doubling the rest period did not provide any more beneficial effects in regards to RR and HR (P > 0.05 for both) during Ex2 and RP2 compared to RT75 pigs, as shown by the similar latencies to recover for these 2 variables. However, ST did not increase between exercises and RT150 pigs required less time to complete the handling course during Ex2. The results show that a lack of rest after an initial exposure to exercise made pigs more susceptible to stress during Ex2 and RP2 as demonstrated by greater (P < 0.001 for all) HR, RR and ST during RP2 compared to RP1 and Ex2 compared to Ex1. When given more than 35 min to rest during RP2, RT35 pigs eventually recovered. Latencies of recovery for HR, ST, RR and posture were all greater (P < 0.05 for HR, ST and RR, and P < 0.001 for posture) than those obtained for RT75 and RT150 pigs. This study highlights that if pigs are not initially given enough rest to recover from exercise, a subsequent exposure to the same exercise will cause an increase in these physiological variables during exercise and recovery. Further research is needed to investigate factors contributing to the quality of rest, with a particular focus on conditions not allowing a proper rest on the truck or in lairage.
Journal of Animal Science 10/2013; · 2.09 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Welfare and meat quality of market weight pigs may be negatively affected by transport duration and environmental temperatures, which vary considerably between seasons. This study evaluated the effects of 3 transport durations (6, 12 and 18 h) on the physiology and behavior of pigs in summer and winter in western Canada. Market weight pigs were transported using a pot-belly trailer at an average loading density of 0.375 m²/100 kg. Four replicates of each transport duration were conducted during each season. Heart rate and gastrointestinal tract temperature (GTT) were monitored from loading to unloading in 16 pigs from 4 selected trailer compartments (n = 96 groups, total of 384 animals, BW = 120.8 ± 0.4 kg), namely top front (C1), top back (C4), middle front (C5) and bottom rear (C10). Behavior was recorded for pigs (948 and 924 animals, in summer and winter, respectively) in C1, C4 and C5 during transportation (standing, sitting, lying) and during 90 min in lairage (sitting, lying, drinking and latency to rest) for pigs in all 4 compartments. Transport was split into 7 periods: loading, pre-travel (PT), initial travel (IT), pre-arrival 1 (PA1) and 2 (PA2), unloading and lairage. During IT and PA2, pigs spent less time lying in winter than in summer (P < 0.05 and P < 0.05, respectively). During PA1, PA2 and unloading, a greater (P < 0.001) heart rate was found in pigs transported in winter compared to summer. During PA2, pigs subjected to the 18 h transport treatment in winter had a greater (P < 0.05) GTT than the other groups. In lairage, pigs transported for 18 h in winter drank more (P < 0.001) and took longer to rest (P < 0.01) than pigs from other groups. During PA1, pigs transported for 18 h had the greatest GTT (P < 0.001). At unloading, pigs transported for 6 h had the lowest GTT (P < 0.001). In lairage, pigs transported for 18 h spent less time lying than those transported for 6 h or 12 h (P < 0.001). These results suggest that in winter, pigs increased their metabolism and were reluctant to rest on cold floors. Pigs transported for 18 h in winter showed greater evidence of thirst. It may be concluded that under western Canadian climatic conditions, long transports (18 h) in cold weather appear to be more detrimental to pig's welfare.
Journal of Animal Science 08/2013; · 2.09 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of trailer design on the stress responses and meat quality traits of 3 different pig crosses: 50% Pietrain breeding with HALNn (50Nn), 50% Pietrain breeding with HALNN (50NN) and 25% Pietrain breeding with HALNN genotype (25NN). Market barrows (n=360), as a subset of 12 trailer loads of pigs, were transported from farm to slaughter on 6 dates in 2009 for 45min in either a pot-belly (PB) or flat-deck (FD) trailer, with 120 pigs/genetic group being represented. Temperature (T) and relative humidity (RH) were recorded by data loggers mounted in both trailers. Behaviours and handler interventions were video-taped at loading, unloading and in lairage. At exsanguination, blood samples were collected for the assessment of lactate, cortisol, creatine kinase (CK), haptoglobin and Pig-MAP concentrations. Meat quality was measured in the longissimus dorsi (LD), semimembranosus (SM) and adductor (AD) muscles of all pigs. Temperatures were warmer in compartments 6 and 11 at loading (P<0.001), compartment 11 during travelling (P=0.05), and in compartment 5 at unloading (P=0.01) of the PB trailer. Pigs unloaded from the FD trailer overlapped more (P<0.001), whereas (P<0.001) the frequency of jamming was noted for pigs unloaded from the PB trailer. Pigs with 50% Pietrain genetics overlapped and jammed more (P<0.001) than pigs with 25% Pietrain genetics, regardless of HAL status. Greater (P=0.03) CK levels were found in 50Nn pigs transported in the PB trailer, while 50Nn and 50NN pigs had greater (P=0.028) lactate levels than 25NN pigs. Carcasses from 50Nn and 50NN pigs were leaner (P=0.04), and the skin damage score was lower (P=0.04) in 25NN carcasses. Overlap-type bruises were greater (P=0.02) in pigs transported in the FD trailer. Pigs transported in the PB trailer had greater (P=0.05) pHu in the SM and AD muscles (P=0.013). Except for pHu in the SM muscle, all meat quality parameters were affected by the Hal gene (P=0.04). The use of a PB trailer for short distance transportation of pigs to slaughter negatively affected stress responses and meat quality. The greater proportion of Pietrain genetics in the selection resulted in leaner carcasses, but also in pigs being more difficult to handle. Crossbreeding appeared to have a greater impact on animal welfare and meat quality than vehicle type, but trailer type may emphasize these negative genotype-related defects.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Infrared thermography (IRT) body temperature readings were taken in the ocular region of 258 pigs immediately before slaughter. Levels of lactate were measured in blood taken in the restrainer. Meat quality was assessed in the longissimus dorsi (LD), semimembranosus (SM), and adductor muscles. Ocular IRT (IROT) temperature was correlated with blood lactate levels (r=0.20; P=0.001), with pH taken 1hour postmortem (pH1: r=-0.18; P=0.03) and drip loss (r=0.20; P=0.02) in the LD muscle, and with pH1 in the SM muscle (r=-0.20; P=0.02). Potentially, IROT may be a useful tool to assess the physiological conditions of pigs at slaughter and predict the variation of important meat quality traits. However, the magnitude of the correlations is rather low, so a further development of image capture technique and further studies under more variable preslaughter conditions ensuring a larger pork quality variation are needed.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Three experiments, each using 280 pigs, were conducted in a simulated compartment to test the effect of angle of entrance (AOE) to the ramp (90°, 60°, 30° or 0°), ramp slope (0°, 16°, 21° or 26°), and an initial 20 cm step associated with 16° or 21° ramp slopes on the ease of handling, heart rate (HR) and behavior of near market-weight pigs during unloading. Heart rate (pigs and handler), unloading time, handler's interventions and pigs' reaction were monitored. The results of the first experiment show that using a 90° AOE had detrimental effects on ease of handling (P < 0.05), pig's HR (P < 0.05) and behavior (P < 0.05). The 0° and 30° AOE appeared to improve the ease of unloading, while the 60° AOE had an intermediate effect. The 30° AOE appeared to be preferable, because pigs moved at this angle balked less frequently (P < 0.01) and required less manipulation (P < 0.05) than pigs moved with a 0° AOE. The results of the second experiment show that the use of a flat ramp led to the easiest unloading as demonstrated by the lower number of balks (P < 0.001) when pigs were moved to the ramp and the less frequent use of paddle (P = 0.001) or voice (P < 0.001) on the ramp, compared to the other treatments. However, the flat ramp did not differ from the 21° ramp in many of the variables reflecting ease of handling, which may be explained by the difference in configuration between the ramps. The results also show that the use of the steepest ramp slope had the most detrimental effect on pig's balking and backing up behavior (P < 0.001) and handling (touches, slaps and pushes) (P < 0.05, for all) when moved to the ramp, and on unloading time (P < 0.01). No differences in pig HR (P < 0.05) and ease of handling on the ramp (P < 0.05) were found between a 26° and a 16° ramp slope, suggesting that the length of the ramp may be one of the factors which make unloading more difficult. The results of the last experiment show that a step associated with a ramp made unloading physically more demanding at both 16° and 21° for the handler (P < 0.001) and pigs on the ramp (P < 0.05) as demonstrated by their greater HR. The greater difficulty of handling (P < 0.01), pig's reluctance to move (P < 0.05) and the increase in HR (P < 0.05) in pigs moved toward the 16° ramp with a step suggests that pigs perceived this ramp as more psychologically challenging. Making a few changes in terms of the design of the ramp could improve the efficiency of handling and reduce stress in pigs.
Journal of Animal Science 05/2013; · 2.09 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of ractopamine supplementation, castration method and their interaction on the behavioral and physiological response to pre-slaughter stress and carcass and meat quality of 2 Piétrain genotypes. A total of 1,488 male pigs (115±5 kg live weight) were distributed according to a 2 × 2 × 2 factorial design. The first factor was ractopamine supplementation with 2 groups of pigs (376 and 380 pigs each) receiving 7.5 ppm of ractopamine (RAC) or not (NRAC) in their diet during the last 28 d of the finishing period. The second factor was castration method with 744 surgically castrates (SC) and 744 immunized males (IM), and the third factor was the genotype with 2 crossbreds containing 50% (genotype A; GA; n = 744) or 25% (genotype B; GB; n = 744) Piétrain genetics. Surgical castration took place at 2 d of age, while immunization against gonadotropin-releasing factor (GnRF) was performed through 2 subcutaneous injections of GnRF analog (Improvest, 2 mL) at 10 and 4 wk before slaughter. At loading more vocal stimulation was needed by the handler to drive GB pigs forward through the farm alley (P = 0.01) and RAC-fed-GB pigs through the ramp (P = 0.02). Feeding RAC to IM increased the number of fights in lairage compared with SC (P = 0.03). Feeding RAC shortened fighting bouts compared with NRAC pigs (P = 0.05). The pigs SC-GA showed a greater gastro-intestinal tract temperature during unloading (P = 0.05) and lairage time (P = 0.03). Blood creatine kinase (CK) levels were greater (P = 0.04) in SC compared to IM and no difference was found in the levels of stress hormones in urine collected post-mortem. Dressing yield was greater (P = 0.01) in RAC and SC-GB pigs. Carcasses from RAC pigs and IM were leaner than those from NRAC and SC pigs (P < 0.001 and P = 0.002, respectively). Feeding RAC to IM increased drip loss in the Longissimus muscle (LM; P = 0.05). Warner-Bratzler shear force (WBSF) values were slightly greater in the LM from RAC-GB pigs and from IM compared to SC (P = 0.01 and P <0.001, respectively) and in the Semimembranosus muscle of RAC pigs (P = 0.006). In conclusion, immunization against GnRF more than the use of Piétrain genotypes appears to be a viable alternative to the use of ractopamine, as it seems to promote production of lean carcasses without compromising animal welfare and pork quality.
Journal of Animal Science 05/2013; · 2.09 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There is evidence that season and truck/trailer design play important roles in pig welfare during transportation, although little is known about their interaction and effect on pig behavior. This experiment was designed to examine the influence of season and truck/trailer design on the behavior during loading, transit, unloading, and lairage of market-weight pigs transported to slaughter. A total of 3,756 pigs were transported on either a 3-deck pot-belly trailer (PB; n = 181 pigs/wk in 8 experimental compartments) or a double-decker hydraulic truck (DD; n = 85 pigs/wk in 4 compartments) for 2 h to a commercial abattoir in summer and winter (6 wk in each season). Density on both vehicles was 0.40 m2/pig. Accounting for the number of pigs, loading took longer (P = 0.033) onto the DD than the PB, but season did not (P = 0.571) influence loading time. Pigs loaded onto the PB moved backwards more (P = 0.003) frequently than those loaded onto the DD truck. The frequency of tapping by handler was the lone handling intervention affected by truck type, with more (P = 0.014) tapping needed to move pigs on and off DD than PB trailers. During loading, pigs made more (P < 0.001) slips and falls, overlaps, 180° turns, underlaps and vocalizations in winter compared to summer. On-truck, more (P < 0.001) pigs were standing on the DD at the farm and in transit than on the PB, whereas more (P = 0.012) pigs were lying in transit in summer than in winter. Pigs took longer to unload (P < 0.001) from the PB than the DD, but no difference between vehicles (P = 0.473) in latency to rest in lairage was found. Pigs slipped and fell more (P < 0.001) during unloading, took longer (P < 0.001) to unload, and had a shorter (P = 0.006) latency to rest in lairage in winter than summer. Vehicle design, in particular the presence of ramps, influenced pig behavior before, during, and after transportation, regardless of the season. Season affected loading and unloading behavior, especially in terms of slips and falls on the ramp, and differences in truck/trailer designs were also partly to blame for unloading times and lairage behavior. Ramps and changes in direction during unloading appear to slow down the handling process.
Journal of Animal Science 03/2013; · 2.09 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Transportation of pigs to slaughter has the potential to negatively impact animal welfare, particularly in hot temperatures and over long-transport durations. The objective of this experiment was to determine if season and location within vehicle influenced the behavior of market-weight pigs during loading, transit, unloading, and lairage after a long-distance trip to slaughter. On a pot-belly truck, 1,170 pigs were transported (n = 195 pigs/wk in 7 experimental compartments) for 8 h to a commercial abattoir in summer (6 wk) and winter (5 wk). Pig behavior was observed at loading, in transit, at unloading, and in lairage. Handler intervention at loading was observed, and the time to load and unload was recorded. Although season did not (P = 0.91) affect loading time, more prods (P = 0.014) were necessary to load pigs in summer than winter. Loading in winter also tended to be longer (P = 0.071) into compartments involving internal ramps. In transit, more pigs (P = 0.025) were standing in winter compared to summer. Unloading took longer (P < 0.006) in winter than in summer, and from compartments where pigs had to negotiate ramps and 180° turns. Furthermore, pigs in summer experienced more slipping (P = 0.032), falling (P = 0.004), overlapping (P < 0.001), and walking backwards (P < 0.001) than pigs in winter. Pigs unloading from compartments with internal ramps slipped more (P < 0.0001) than other pigs. Season influenced latency to rest in lairage, with those transported in summer resting sooner (P < 0.0001) than those in winter. In conclusion, season and location within trucks differentially affect pig behavior before, during, and after long-distance transportation. Differences in lighting and temperature between seasons, and the inclusion of internal ramps within vehicles, may play important roles in the welfare of pigs transported to slaughter.
Journal of Animal Science 03/2013; · 2.09 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pigs are often transported to slaughter under conditions outside their thermo-neutral zones, which can lead to reduced welfare and increased losses. Water sprinkling in barns is used to control microclimate resulting in pig body temperature reduction and improved welfare; however there is no clear evidence of these effects during transport. The aim of this study was to observe the effect of sprinkling pigs in trailers on behaviour and body temperature during transport and lairage, as well as to observe the effects on trailer microclimate e. In each of 12 weeks, 2 pot-belly trailers with 208 pigs each (n=4,992) were transported from the same farm on the same day 2 h to slaughter. One trailer was equipped with sprinklers that ran for 5 min (∼125 L) before departure and before unloading, the other trailer served as the control. In each trailer, 4 compartments were outfitted with cameras, ammonia detectors and temperature/humidity data loggers. The gastrointestinal tract temperature (GTT; °C) of 4 randomly chosen pigs (n=384) in each test compartment was recorded using orally administered data loggers. Trailer and deck loading order were randomized. Behaviour during transport, unloading and lairage was recorded from video or live observations. Data were analyzed through ANOVA with ambient temperature external to the trailer (AmbT) as a covariate. AmbT averaged 19.5 °C±3.8 °C (range: 13.6 to 25.8 °C). Sprinkled trailers showed lower (P=0.002) increases in internal compartment temperature from loading to unloading, smaller (P<0.001) decreases in humidity and no difference in ammonia levels. At AmbT>23 °C, there was no effect of sprinkling on behaviour on the trailer, but at AmbT<23 °C, more pigs stood on sprinkled trailers (P<0.05). Sprinkling did not affect slips or falls during unloading. In lairage, latency to rest was reduced as AmbT increased for all compartments (P<0.05); sprinkled pigs spent more time lying (P<0.05) and had fewer drinking bouts than controls (P<0.001) regardless of AmbT. GTT increased between loading and departure and decreased during transit for all pigs (P<0.001); and sprinkling tended to further reduce GTT at arrival at AmbT>24 °C (P=0.08). These data suggest that sprinkling pigs in a stationary vehicle when AmbT exceeds 23 °C has the potential to prevent increases in body temperature during short duration transport without detrimental effects on ammonia levels or behaviour during unloading.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Effects of water supplementation with tryptophan and vitamin B 6 or feeding hydrogenated fat on reducing hunger-induced drinking pre-slaughter in pigs. Can. J. Anim. Sci. 92: 319Á326. A current food safety challenge at pig slaughter plants comes with the presence of stomachs filled with liquid induced by hunger-related drinking in lairage. With the objective to reduce hunger-related excess drinking, 30 barrows were assigned to three treatments (10 pigs per treatment): (1) unsupplemented water or feed regimen (CONT), (2) L-Tryptophan (3 g L (1) and vitamin B 6 (10 mg L (1) in the drinking water for 5d (TRP-B6), (3) hydrogenated fat (HF) supplemented at 10% in the diet for the last day of feeding before pre-slaughter fasting. As compared with CONT, neither TRP-B6 nor HF supplementation influenced behaviour in lairage and water intake at anytime over the pre-slaughter fasting period as reflected on stomach weight and its liquid content at slaughter (P0.10). However, in HF-fed pigs plasma non-esterified fatty acids concentrations tended to be lower (P00.09) while carcass yield was higher (P00.04) than CONT pigs. It appears, therefore, that neither drinking water supplementation with TRP-B6 for 5 d nor feeding HF the last day before slaughter can be recommended strategies to limit excess water drinking prior to slaughter and liquid stomach content at slaughter. However, dietary HF supplementation the last day before slaughter may attenuate the effects of fasting on body energy reserves and improve carcass yield.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study aimed at evaluating the effects of trailer design on stress responses and meat quality traits of 3 different pig crosses: 50% Pietrain breeding with halothane (HAL)(Nn) (50Nn); 50% Pietrain breeding with HAL(NN) (50NN); and 25% Pietrain breeding with HAL(NN) genotype (25NN). Over a 6-wk period, pigs (120 pigs/crossbreed) were transported for 7 h in either a pot-belly (PB) or flat-deck (FD) trailer (10 pigs/crossbreed(-1.)trailer(-1.)wk(-1)). Temperature (T) and relative humidity (RH) were monitored in each trailer. Behaviors during loading and unloading, time to load and unload, and latency to rest in lairage were recorded, whereas a sub-population of pigs (4 pigs/crossbreed(-1.)trailer(-1.)wk(-1)) was equipped with gastro-intestinal tract (GIT) temperature monitors. Blood samples were collected at exsanguination for measurement of cortisol, creatine kinase (CK), lactate, haptoglobin, and Pig-MAP concentrations. Meat quality data were collected at 24 h postmortem from the LM and semimembranosus (SM) and adductor (AD) muscles of all 360 pigs. Greater T were recorded in the PB trailer during transportation (P = 0.006) and unloading (P < 0.001). Delta GIT temperature was greater (P = 0.01) in pigs unloaded from the PB. At loading, pigs tended to move backwards more (P = 0.06) when loaded on the FD than the PB trailer. At unloading, an interaction was found between trailer type and crossbreed type, with a greater (P < 0.01) frequency of overlaps in 50NN and 25NN pigs and slips/falls in 50Nn and 50NN pigs from the FD than the PB trailer. Cortisol concentrations at slaughter were greater (P = 0.02) in pigs transported in the PB than FD trailer. Greater lactate concentrations were found in 50Nn and 50NN pigs (P = 0.003) and greater CK concentrations (P < 0.001) in 50Nn pigs. As expected, 50Nn pigs produced leaner (P < 0.001) carcasses, with greater (P = 0.01) dressing percentages, as well as lower (P < 0.001) ultimate pH values and greater (P < 0.001) drip loss percentages in the LM and greater (P = 0.002) drip losses and a paler color (greater L* values, P = 0.02) in the SM than 50NN pigs. When used for long distance transportation under controlled conditions, the PB trailer produced no detrimental effects on animal welfare or pork quality. Pigs with 50% Pietrain crossbreeding appear to be more responsive to transport stress, having the potential to produce acceptable carcass and pork quality, provided pigs are free of the HAL gene.
Journal of Animal Science 09/2012; 90(9):3220-31. · 2.09 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hogs are often transported to slaughter under conditions exceeding
their thermo-neutral zones, which can lead to reduced welfare and
increased in-transit loss. Water sprinkling during lairage decreases
micro-climate and hog body temperatures and improves welfare, but
there is no clear evidence of these effects during transport. The aim of
this study was to observe if sprinkling hogs in stationary trailers before
and after transport decreased signs of heat stress. In each of 12 weeks
from May to September 2011, 2 pot-belly trailers with 208 hogs per
trailer were transported 2h to slaughter. One was outfitted with a custom
made sprinkler system that ran for 5min (~125 L) immediately before
departure from the farm and immediately before unloading at the plant.
In each trailer, 4 test compartments (1 on the top deck, 2 on the middle
deck, and 1 on the bottom deck) were outfitted with cameras, and the
core body temperature (CBT) of 4 randomly chosen hogs (n = 384) in
each were recorded using orally administered iButtons. Trailer and deck
loading order were randomized. Behaviors during transport, unloading
and during lairage were recorded from video or live observations. Data
were analyzed through ANOVA with ambient temperature external to the
truck (AmbT) as a co-variant. AmbT averaged 19.5°C ± 3.8°C (range:
14–26°C). At AmbT > 23°C, there was no effect of sprinkling on behavior
on-truck (standing, sitting or lying), but at AmbT < 23°C, more hogs
stood on sprinkled trucks (P < 0.05). Sprinkling did not affect slips or
falls during unloading. In lairage, latency to lie was shorter when AmbT
exceeded 23°C (P < 0.05) and sprinkled hogs spent more time lying and
less time sitting (P < 0.05) and had fewer drinking bouts than controls
(P < 0.0001) regardless of AmbT. CBT increased between loading and
departure and decreased while in transit for all hogs (P < 0.0001) and
sprinkling further reduced CBT at arrival at AmbT > 23°C (P < 0.05).
Therefore, sprinkling hogs when ambient temperature exceeds 23°C
can help to alleviate transport-related heat stress without detrimental
effects on unloading.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This paper reviews the effects of road transport on the welfare, carcass and meat quality of cattle, swine and poultry in North America (NA). The main effects of loading density, trailer microclimate, transport duration, animal size and condition, management factors including bedding, ventilation, handling, facilities, and vehicle design are summarized by species. The main effects listed above all have impacts on welfare (stress, health, injury, fatigue, dehydration, core body temperature, mortality and morbidity) and carcass and meat quality (shrink, bruising, pH, color defects and water losses) to varying degrees. It is clear that the effect of road transport is a multi-factorial problem where a combination of stressors rather than a single factor is responsible for the animal's well-being and meat quality post transport. Animals least fit for transport suffer the greatest losses in terms of welfare and meat quality while market ready animals (in particular cattle and pigs) in good condition appear to have fewer issues. More research is needed to identify the factors or combination of factors with the greatest negative impacts on welfare and meat quality relative to the species, and their size, age and condition under extreme environmental conditions. Future research needs to focus on controlled scientific assessments, under NA conditions, of varying loading densities, trailer design, microclimate, and handling quality during the transport process. Achieving optimal animal well-being, carcass and meat quality will entirely depend on the quality of the animal transport process.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Thirty-nine steers were distributed into a 2 x 2 factorial arrangement of treatments to determine the effect of corn grain particle size (cracked [CC] vs ground [GC] corn) and soybean meal treatment (solvent extracted soybean meal [SS] vs lignosulfonate treated soybean meal Soypass™ [SP]) on carcass and meat quality traits. When CC diet was supplemented with SS carcass quality grade score tended to decrease (P=0.09). GC had no effect on meat quality, while SP only increased the intramuscular fat content when added to CC (P=0.01). The CC diet supplemented with SP increased the proportion of saturated fatty acids (P=0.01). Despite the positive effects on carcass quality, the lack of improvement in meat quality and the more saturated fatty acid profile would not justify the use of processed corn or treated soybean meal in the finishing diet of steers.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although there is increasing evidence regarding the negative welfare and meat quality implications of electric prod use for slaughter-weight pigs, this handling tool continues to be used. Therefore, the behavioral and physiological response and carcass and meat quality of 360 pigs being loaded onto a truck for transportation to slaughter according to 3 handling procedures were studied. The 3 handling procedures were 1) moving with an electric prod and board from the finishing pen to the truck (EP); 2) moving with a board and a paddle from the finishing pen to the truck (PAD); 3) moving with a board and a paddle from the finishing pen and using a compressed air prod in the ramp before going into the truck (CAP). A subpopulation of 144 pigs (48 pigs/treatment) was equipped with heart rate monitors. Blood samples were collected from the same animals at exsanguination for the analysis of creatine phosphokinase and lactate. Data were analyzed using an ANOVA for factorial design, with the animal as the experimental unit. Behavior was analyzed with MIXED model procedure with treatment as a fixed effect. During loading, EP pigs slipped and fell (P < 0.001) and overlapped (P = 0.03) more often, but stopped (P < 0.001) and attempted turns (P = 0.01) less often than CAP or PAD. With CAP, pigs made more 180° turns (P = 0.01) than with PAD or EP. Loading with EP led to more and longer vocalizations (P = 0.02 and P = 0.001, respectively) than loading with CAP or PAD. Loading took longest with CAP and was quickest with EP (P = 0.01). Pigs handled with EP had a greater heart rate than those moved with PAD and CAP at loading (P < 0.001), wait at loading (P < 0.001), at unloading (P = 0.05), and in lairage (P = 0.02). Pigs loaded with EP had greater (P = 0.05) lactate concentrations in blood at exsanguination compared with pigs handled with CAP, with pigs loaded with PAD being intermediate. Furthermore, ultimate pH values in the semimembranosus and adductor muscles of EP pigs were greater (P = 0.002 and P = 0.004, respectively) compared with those from PAD and CAP pigs. Greater (P = 0.04) incidence of blood-splashed hams was found in EP pigs compared with PAD and CAP pigs. Therefore, considering animal welfare, carcass bruising, and blood splashes standpoints, EP should be replaced with PAD or CAP. However, additional research is necessary to identify methods that improve the loading efficiencies of PAD and CAP without adversely affecting animal welfare parameters.
Journal of Animal Science 12/2010; 88(12):4086-93. · 2.09 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A total of 117 loins were selected on the cutting line at 24h post-mortem to study the long term shelf life (35 days, 4 degrees C) of vacuum packaged pork from five different quality classes (PSE: pale, soft, exudative; PFN: pale, firm, non-exudative; RSE: red, soft, exudative; RFN: red, firm, non-exudative; and DFD: dark, firm, dry). The microbial load at 0 d was not significantly different (P>0.05) among the pork quality classes, indicating that the initial microflora was influenced by the dressing conditions at the plant, not by the meat quality class. But after 35 d of storage, total aerobic mesophilic and presumptive lactic acid bacteria counts were higher (P<0.05) in DFD pork due to its higher ultimate pH. RSE was the second quality class most susceptible to spoilage, whereas PFN, RFN and PSE pork had similar microbial loads. Further research is needed to elucidate the causes of the shorter shelf life in RSE pork.