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New Research Equipment to Assist in Improving Swine Trailer Design

25 May 2016, at 6:00am

CANADA - New research equipment scheduled to arrive at the Prairie Swine Centre next month will provide scientists with a new tool that will assist them as they work to improve the biosecurity, animal friendliness and ease of use of swine transportation equipment, writes Bruce Cochrane.

The onset of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea in North America in particular has heightened the level of awareness within the swine industry of the importance of trailer design.

Lee Whittington, the President and CEO of the Prairie Swine Centre notes there is a lot of different trailer types available and a national research program underway now is evaluating those various trailer designs.

Lee Whittington-Prairie Swine Centre:

I think the long term is we're going to help redesign what that trailer is going to look like and that redesign will be better for pigs and pig management.

It'll be easier for humans to load and it'll be certainly be easier to clean.

There are hundreds of nooks and crannies inside a typical trailer and even uncapped tubular steel in trailers that is virtually impossible to clean.

By evaluating what trailers are available right now and what technologies that we can use to clean them, that's sort of the first step.

One of the things we've just invested in is to take a look at what's happening in Europe.

We've had custom manufactured a one third scale trailer that is coming to Prairie Swine Centre which will be a resource that we will be able to use for many years to come to look at ventilation in these types of trailers, alternative designs for cleaning and disinfecting and that's going to be a huge benefit to helping researchers for the next 5 years plus in coming up with what are the features that transportation companies need to look at building into their next generation of trailers.

Whittington sees researchers in Canada redesigning the transport from a biosecurity, animal welfare and meat quality perspective and he's confident 10 years from now the new trailers will look radically different that the ones we're using today.

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Improve feed efficiency and eliminate waste with the original, mechanical-flow, automatic feeder, with models available for pigs from wean to market.

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