Effects of keeping pigs on the truck during rest time during hauls exceeding 28h
Project 22-03 - Dr. Luigi Faucitano
Dr. Luigi Faucitano, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
To let pigs recover from the effects of dehydration, hunger and general fatigue suffered during long distance transportation, a resting period is mandated (CARC, 2001; NFACC, 2014). According to the amended section XII of the Health of Animals Regulations (2020), pigs being transported for more than 28 h must be unloaded from the truck, fed and rested for a minimum time of 8 h at a feed, water and rest (FWR) station before any further transport. However, loading and unloading animals at a FWR station and mixing them in a novel environment can be stressful for them and may reduce their fitness for further transportation. Feeding and watering pigs on the truck would avoid the stress of handling in and off the truck, and mixing in the FWR pens, and is recommended for biosecurity reasons through the avoidance of cross-contamination between loads (Rioja- Lang et al., 2019). The proposed improvement in this current swine industry practice has never been validated so far. The outputs of this study will have an impact on 1) regulators/legislators allowing them to propose science-based directives and codes 2) the pork chain by helping truckers reduce losses by making the right vehicle choice or adapting their vehicle and pigs’ management strategies in very long hauls situation, and 3) consumers as feed, water and rest for livestock transported over a long distance has been rated as the most dominant concern (more than stocking density during transport, handling, transport times and weather conditions) in a 2019 NFACC public survey.