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Open AccessFeature PaperCommentary

Transport Fitness of Cull Sows and Boars: A Comparison of Different Guidelines on Fitness for Transport

Department of Animal Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA
Academic Editors: John J. McGlone and Anna K. Johnson
Animals 2016, 6(12), 77;
Received: 20 September 2016 / Revised: 20 November 2016 / Accepted: 23 November 2016 / Published: 28 November 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pig Transport 2016)
Breeding sows and boars that are shipped to slaughter, auctions, or buying stations have a greater risk for welfare problems because they are older animals. Sows are sold when they fail to rebreed, are too thin or have difficulty walking. The transport guidelines of four organizations were compared. Most guidelines typically do not allow transport of non-ambulatory, severely injured animals or sows likely to give birth. The guidelines were less likely to agree on transport of extremely thin sows.
Sows and boars that have reached the end of their productive lives have a greater risk for welfare problems. This paper reviews literature on culling reasons that may affect the animals’ fitness for transport. The top two reasons identified for culling boars were: obesity and reproductive problems. Sows are most often culled due to lameness, low body condition, or failure to rebreed. The OIE (World Organization for Animal Health) fitness for transport guidelines that would apply to sows and boars were compared with documents from the Canadian Code of Practice, Northern American Meat Institute (NAMI), EU-UK-DEFRA (European Union-United Kingdom, Dept. Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), U.S. National Pork Board, European Practical Guidelines to Assess Fitness for Transport of Pigs, and U.S. Pork Trucker Quality Assurance. The guidelines had the greatest agreement on the following fitness for transport issues: non-ambulatory, severely injured animals, sows in the last ten percent of pregnancy and sows with uterine prolapses were not fit for transport. There was less agreement on low body condition. One of the reasons for the lack of agreement is that there were stakeholders who specialized in transporting and processing extremely thin animals. A standard that would severely restrict the transport and slaughter of these animals could hinder the business practices of these stakeholders. Many welfare specialists would agree that some of these animals would be unfit for transport. View Full-Text
Keywords: sows; boards; welfare; fitness for transport; lameness; codes of practices sows; boards; welfare; fitness for transport; lameness; codes of practices
MDPI and ACS Style

Grandin, T. Transport Fitness of Cull Sows and Boars: A Comparison of Different Guidelines on Fitness for Transport. Animals 2016, 6, 77.

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