Effects of space allowance on behaviour, physiology, skin lesions and meat quality of pigs transported in an actively ventilated vehicle in the summer and winter
During road transportation of pigs, space allowance is a factor that can impact their welfare, especially when combined with extreme summer or winter temperatures. This project investigates the effects of space allowance on behaviour, physiology, and meat quality of pigs transported in a triple flat-deck actively ventilated trailer during the summer and winter seasons in Canada. Market pigs were assigned to different space allowance conditions tested throughout the trailer over a 6-week period in both seasons. Microclimate conditions were recorded in the trailer during three phases of transport, while behaviour, physiological indicators, carcass, and meat quality were assessed at the abattoir from a subsample of focal pigs from each season. Our results demonstrate were that location within the trailer, had a greater impact on the postures in lairage, lactate and creatine kinase (CK) levels, skin lesions and pork quality traits than the space allowance treatments applied.