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Advanced Trailer Designs Improving Pig Welfare, Biosecurity, Meat Quality

CANADA - Advances in swine transport trailer designs are helping to improve biosecurity, animal welfare and meat quality, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 2 June 2016
clock icon 1 minute read

A custom manufactured one third scale swine transport trailer, which will be used as a tool by researchers to improve trailer design from a biosecurity, animal welfare and meat quality perspective, is scheduled to arrive next month Prairie Swine Centre.

Prairie Swine Centre President and CEO Lee Whittington is confident 10 years from now the new trailers will look radically different than the ones we're using today.

Lee Whittington-Prairie Swine Centre:

Really we're to look at what is the effect on the stress of the animal regarding the area of the transport that they've been loaded in, summer versus winter, length of time that the animals are in transit because Canada is a big country and pigs move both east and west right across the country in order to seek the best deal at the various packing plants.

Some of the things that our listeners here will remember, we found out pigs stand more in the winter than in summer and that's because of the heat loss issue and so bedding requirements in winter time are extremely important.

Plus we also know that that pig is going to likely end up with issues in terms of dark firm dry cutting of the meat because it has been rigidly standing perhaps for hours on that trip and using up a lot of energy doing so.

A lot of the long duration transport effects in summer, we saw them very significantly by compartment and so handling those pigs into that particular compartment and maybe even providing some sprinkling technologies to wet them down and get the transport moving on a hot day have all been very beneficial to help producers reduce any summertime transportation losses.

If we do have long transportation, those pigs need to rest longer before proceeding up through the packing plant.