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Addendum published on 24 February 2017, see Animals 2017, 7(3), 13.

Open AccessArticle
Animals 2017, 7(2), 8; doi:10.3390/ani7020008

Season, Transport Duration and Trailer Compartment Effects on Blood Stress Indicators in Pigs: Relationship to Environmental, Behavioral and Other Physiological Factors, and Pork Quality Traits

1
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Sherbrooke Research and Development Centre, Sherbrooke, QC J1M 0C8, Canada
2
Prairie Swine Centre, Saskatoon, SK S7H 5N9, Canada
3
Department of Animal Biosciences, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada
4
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5A2, Canada
5
Department of Animal Science, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2, Canada
6
Department of Ethology, Institute of Animal Science, Pratelstvi 815, 104 00 Prague-Uhrineves, Czech Republic
These authors contributed equally.
Present address: Laboratory of Animal Welfare, Universidade Federal do Paraná, Curitiba 80.210-150, Brazil.
§
Present address: 704-689, Rua Sete de Setembro, Ijuí 98.700-000, Brazil.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: John J. McGlone and Anna K. Johnson
Received: 3 November 2016 / Revised: 31 January 2017 / Accepted: 1 February 2017 / Published: 8 February 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pig Transport 2016)
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Abstract

The objective of this study was to assess the effects of the season, travel duration and trailer compartment location on blood creatine-kinase (CK), lactate and cortisol concentrations in 384 pigs and assess their relationships with trailer temperature, heart rate and gastrointestinal tract temperature (GTT), behavior, carcass damage scores and meat quality. Blood CK was greater in pigs transported in summer (p = 0.02), after 18 h transportation (p < 0.001) and in pigs located in C4, C5 and C10 (p = 0.002). In winter, the concentration of blood lactate was higher (p = 0.04) in pigs transported for 6 h in C5. Pigs located in C10 showed higher (p = 0.01) concentration of cortisol than those transported for 18h in C4 in summer. The highest correlations were between blood cortisol and GTT (r = 0.53; p < 0.001), and between blood CK and GTT (r = 0.41; p < 0.001), truck temperature (r = 0.42; p < 0.001), and pHu in the longissimus muscle (r = 0.41; p < 0.001). In conclusion, although increased blood cortisol and CK levels appear to indicate a physical stress condition in transported pigs, the weak to moderate correlations with environmental and other animal welfare indicators suggest that blood stress parameters can only be used as a complementary measurement in the assessment of the pigs’ response to transport stress. View Full-Text
Keywords: behavior; blood parameters; body temperature; heart rate; meat quality; pigs; season; stress response; transport time behavior; blood parameters; body temperature; heart rate; meat quality; pigs; season; stress response; transport time
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MDPI and ACS Style

Sommavilla, R.; Faucitano, L.; Gonyou, H.; Seddon, Y.; Bergeron, R.; Widowski, T.; Crowe, T.; Connor, L.; Scheeren, M.B.; Goumon, S.; Brown, J. Season, Transport Duration and Trailer Compartment Effects on Blood Stress Indicators in Pigs: Relationship to Environmental, Behavioral and Other Physiological Factors, and Pork Quality Traits. Animals 2017, 7, 8.

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