Farmscape for December 4, 2017
An Assistant Professor in Swine Behavior with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine says a range of factors working in combination will influence the welfare of swine as they are transported from one location to another.
Changes related to transport being proposed to Canada's Health of Animals Regulation have heightened the level of interest within the pork industry and the scientific community in the effects of transport on animal welfare.
Dr. Yolande Seddon, an Assistant Professor in Swine Behavior with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine and an Adjunct Research Scientist with the Prairie Swine Centre, says when it comes to transport a combination of factors need to be considered.
Clip-Dr. Yolande Seddon-Western College of Veterinary Medicine:
There's many factors.
Not only the animal itself, so how old is the animal, what sort of physiological state is the animal in.
How does that animal perceive its experience in close contact with handlers will influence how it experiences loading.
Novelty, has it had a chance to have enrichment before as a pig and experience novelty.
If not they can have stronger response sometimes.
Weather conditions, stocking density, temperatures within the trailer, being mixed with unfamiliar individuals, how the driver is driving, whether it's smooth or lots of breaking and accelerating and then overall the transport duration can magnify any effects that are going through.
We know logically that they interact.
If you have a long duration in extreme weather conditions that could be worse compared to a short duration in extreme weather conditions, just because you're on the truck longer so that's an obvious one.
Even the management of the animal prior to transport we know will influence the outcome of the animal on the journey.
Dr. Seddon observes,, while people living in cities don't have much connection with livestock anymore, they often see livestock trucks driving through cities so transport is one of the most visible aspects of livestock production.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.
*Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork