Research Gives New Insight into Stress During Transport

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Farmscape for September 2, 2020

Full Interview 18:47 Listen

Research being conducted by the Prairie Swine Center and the Universities of Saskatchewan and Guelph are providing new insight into the effects of stress during transport on the well being of pigs.

As part of ongoing research being conducted on behalf of Swine Innovation Porc and the Agriculture Development Fund Saskatchewan, scientists are tracking and comparing the effects of stress on weaned pigs during long duration and short duration transport.
Dr. Yolande Seddon, an Assistant Professor of Swine Behaviour and Welfare with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine and NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Swine Welfare, says we know transport is a stressor so it’s about understanding how our practices influence the pigs and whether or not we need to intervein.

Clip-Dr. Yolande Seddon-Western College of Veterinary Medicine:
I think those who will benefit are individuals and companies that transport pigs and I think also this information can go toward supporting recommendations for best practices about how we transport pigs and also some of it may in the end be used to support legislative regulations.

But essentially, I think, coming out of this work which the Swine Innovation Porc research will be going on for a few years now, there should be definitely recommendations able to come out that would result in some practical applications for how, if we need to, provide any supplementary support to pigs what might work. Stresses in life happen. We know transport is a stress but what we want to guard against is stress becoming a distress.

Dr. Seddon says, once we have more data in this area, we can look at intervention strategies to see how we can reduce the amount of physical stress that the pigs are experiencing. She says there’s always something we can learn and she believes this information can provide support for recommendations for best practices about how we transport pigs.

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