• Abstract

    Transport is a relevant process during pigs’ lives because of its impact on animal welfare. Considering commercial conditions, several factors vary between journeys; therefore, it is important to establish the influence of transport distance on skin lesion scores in finishing pigs, considering weather and vibration conditions. Skin lesion score was assessed in 649 finishing pigs at the farms before loading, with a five-point scale (0= none to 4 = ≥ 16 superficial lesions or > 10 deep lesions), and at the slaughterhouse after unloading. Three transport distances were evaluated (short, intermediate and long), in which microclimatic and vibration conditions were monitored from the vehicle’s compartments. Intermediate distances showed higher proportions of worst score (4) at the front part, whereas long distances presented worst score at the middle and hind quarters. Short distances displayed higher proportions of worst score at ears. Temperatures inside the vehicle were above the thermal comfort limit for pigs, providing a heat stress condition. Vibrations were higher sideways than in the vertical and longitudinal directions. Transport under tropical conditions negatively affected the skin injuries score, indicating a higher incidence of skin wounds at the slaughterhouse than in the farms. Body parts can be affected differently by distance, considering skin lesion scores.

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Sobral, V. S., Silveira, R. M. F., Guesine, G. D., Arno, A., Lobos, C. M. V., & Silva, I. J. O. da. (2023). Transport distance influenced the proportion of skin lesions in finishing pigs and negatively affected animal welfare. Journal of Animal Behaviour and Biometeorology, 12(1), 2024001. https://doi.org/10.31893/jabb.2024001
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