Effects of the truck suspension system on animal welfare, carcass and meat quality traits in pigs

The objective of this study was to assess the effects of two types of commercial suspension (leaf-spring (LS) vs. air suspension (AS)) installed on two similar double-decked trucks on blood cortisol and lactate concentration, lairage behavior, carcass skin lesions and pork quality traits of 120 crossbred pigs. The suspension type neither influenced pig behaviour in lairage . . . → Read More: Effects of the truck suspension system on animal welfare, carcass and meat quality traits in pigs

The effect of reduced loading density on pig welfare during long distance transport

Transport of animals is a stressful procedure often resulting in significant losses for the slaughter plant. This study aimed to determine whether or not pigs would benefit from a loading density (low density (LD)) (179 kg/m2) below the normal EU standard loading density (normal density (ND)) (235 kg/m2).

Eight similar, 550-km-long road journeys were followed in which fattening pigs were transported across Germany from farm to slaughter plant. During each journey all pigs were transported at LD (n=4) or ND (n=4). Continue reading The effect of reduced loading density on pig welfare during long distance transport

Heat stress: A major contributor to poor animal welfare associated with long-haul live export voyages

Recent investigations by the Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry into high mortalities on live export voyages from Australia to the Middle East during the Northern hemisphere summer suggest that animal welfare may be compromised by heat stress.

The live export industry has generated a computer model that aims to assess the risk of heat stress and to contain mortality levels on live export ships below certain arbitrary limits.

Although the model must be complied with under Australian law, it is not currently available for independent scientific scrutiny, and there is concern that the model and the mandated space allowances are inadequate. Continue reading Heat stress: A major contributor to poor animal welfare associated with long-haul live export voyages

Accumulation of ammonia and other potentially noxious gases on live export shipments from Australia to the Middle East

Noxious gases on ships are irritant pollutants that have potential impacts on the comfort and health of both livestock and humans. Identification of environmental influences on the pollutants will assist live exporters to control them.

Ammonia, hydrogen sulphide and carbon dioxide, as well as wet and dry bulb temperature, dew point, air speed and depth of faeces that the sheep stood in, were measured on two ship voyages in which sheep were transported from Australia to the Middle East. Continue reading Accumulation of ammonia and other potentially noxious gases on live export shipments from Australia to the Middle East