Publications

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

Gerritzen, M.A.; Hindle, V.A.; Steinkamp, K.; Reimert, H.G.M.; Werf, J.T.N. van der; Marahrens, M.A.

Summary

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). Twelve female pigs per journey (total n=96) were randomly selected for measurement and monitoring of body temperature, behaviour, heart rate and blood parameters. Throughout the journeys, LD pigs displayed more resting behaviour than ND pigs. Average body temperature was lower (P