Road transport conditions of slaughter cattle: Effects on some measures of welfare and the prevalence of dark cutters
This thesis is an investigation of Canadian slaughter cattle transportation conditions. The objectives of the research were to: determine transport durations and stocking densities of cattle transported to a large beef slaughter plant in Ontario; assess the arrival condition of cattle; identify potential risk factors involving the transportation of cattle that are associated with the development of dark cutters, and provide objective data to validate or suggest revisions to the current legislation. Analysis showed that 99.8% of trucks arrived within the allowable transport time and that the recommended stocking densities were generally adhered to, with only 8% of trucks appearing to be deliberately overstocked. The province of origin, amount of ventilation during transit, years of livestock trucking experience, overnight lairage status, sex, and origin (sale barn or feedlot) of the cattle were all found to be statistically significant factors affecting the prevalence of dark cutters, as determined by logistic regression.