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Effects of Vibration in Transit on Pig Comfort, Meat Quality Examined

25 October 2016, at 6:00am

CANADA - Research conducted on behalf of Swine Innovation Porc is expected to shed new light on the effects of vibration during transport on the behavior and comfort of pigs and ultimately on the quality of the pork they produce.

As part research being conducted on behalf of Swine Innovation Porc, scientists are evaluating the effect of vibration on swine behavior and comfort during transport.

Dr. Luigi Faucitano, a meat scientist with the Dairy and Swine Research and Development Centre of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, says trucks were equipped with accelerometers to track vibration during transport, pigs were fitted with heart rate and body temperature monitors, cameras were installed to monitor behavior, whether the pigs were sitting, standing or lying, blood sample were collected prior to slaughter to asses stress factors and meat quality was analyzed after slaughter.

Dr Luigi Faucitano-Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada:

The objective was more a consequence of other results we obtained in previous studies where we found that there was a great variation in postures of pigs during transportation depending on their location.

Most of the time pigs transported in the Canadian pot belly trailers were standing or sitting more than lying.

Lying means resting.

If a pig is sitting or is standing during transportation, it means that he is in a situation of discomfort and he doesn't lie down.

One of the causes of this behavior can be the excessive vibration on the truck floor.

Vibration was never studied in our trucks, in the Canadian pot belly trailers so we wanted to see whether this could be a source for this type of behavior.

Dr Faucitano says the data collection was completed in the summer of last year and the information collected through the truck vibration portion of the study is now being analyzed.

He says the project is due for completion in 2017.

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