Special Issue "Farm Animal Transport"

A special issue of Animals (ISSN 2076-2615). This special issue belongs to the section "Farm Animals".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2018)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Claire A. Weeks

Bristol Veterinary School, University of Bristol, Langford, Bristol, BS40 5DU, United Kingdom
Website | E-Mail
Interests: welfare assessment; transport; poultry; housing systems; markets; knowledge transfer; farm animal welfare

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Worldwide about 70 billion farm animals are produced for food with around two thirds farmed intensively. Most of these animals will experience more than one journey, as the stages of production have become more specialised. For example, layer chicks are transported to a rearing facility, then on to a laying farm and finally to slaughter. There is considerable evidence that the stressors associated with handling and transport often negatively affect the health, productivity and welfare of the animals transported. For meat animals transported to slaughter, meat quality may be impaired by stressful conditions experienced during the transportation process. Mortality during transport is common, particularly in poultry, and may be accepted where levels do not have an economic impact, yet this is both an ethical and a sustainability concern.

We invite original research papers that address improved methods for handling farmed animals during loading and unloading, conditions during transit, including vehicle design and on-board monitoring systems, and consequences for animals of being transported in terms of physiology, behaviour and productivity. Additional topics may include the effects of training human handlers and pre-transport conditioning techniques to reduce the impact of transportation.

Dr. Claire A. Weeks
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Animals is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Transport
  • Livestock
  • Poultry
  • welfare
  • Physiology
  • Behaviour
  • Meat quality
  • Heat stress
  • Ventilation
  • Handling

Published Papers (12 papers)

View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-12
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessArticle Qualitative Behavioural Assessment as a Method to Identify Potential Stressors during Commercial Sheep Transport
Animals 2018, 8(11), 209; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8110209
Received: 3 October 2018 / Revised: 29 October 2018 / Accepted: 9 November 2018 / Published: 15 November 2018
PDF Full-text (3319 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Land transport is an unavoidable experience for most livestock, yet there is limited research comparing animal welfare under different conditions. We video recorded sheep responses during short (2 h) commercial road transport journeys. Using Qualitative Behavioural Assessment, observers (blinded to the treatments) scored
[...] Read more.
Land transport is an unavoidable experience for most livestock, yet there is limited research comparing animal welfare under different conditions. We video recorded sheep responses during short (2 h) commercial road transport journeys. Using Qualitative Behavioural Assessment, observers (blinded to the treatments) scored the behavioural expression of sheep and reached significant consensus in their scoring patterns (p < 0.001). There were also significant effects of vehicle crate design (sheep transported in a ‘standard’ crate were more calm/relaxed than those transported in a ‘convertible’ crate), deck position (sheep on upper decks were more curious/alert than those on lower decks), and sheep breed (fat-tail sheep were more agitated/distressed than merino sheep) on observer scores. We only found marginal differences for sheep originating from feedlot or saleyard. Significant effects of vehicle driver (included as a random factor in all but one of our analyses) suggest driving patterns contributed to demeanour of the sheep. Finally, the fourteen drivers who participated in the study were asked their opinions on livestock transport; none of the factors we tested were identified by drivers as important for sheep welfare during transport. This study supports the use of qualitative measures in transport and revealed differences that could inform truck design. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Farm Animal Transport)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Factors Affecting Trailer Thermal Environment Experienced by Market Pigs Transported in the US
Animals 2018, 8(11), 203; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8110203
Received: 1 September 2018 / Revised: 5 November 2018 / Accepted: 6 November 2018 / Published: 9 November 2018
PDF Full-text (2461 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Extreme weather conditions challenge pig thermoregulation during transport and are addressed by the National Pork Board (NPB) Transport Quality Assurance® (TQA) program that provides guidelines for trailer boarding, bedding, and misting. These guidelines are widely applied, yet very little is known about
[...] Read more.
Extreme weather conditions challenge pig thermoregulation during transport and are addressed by the National Pork Board (NPB) Transport Quality Assurance® (TQA) program that provides guidelines for trailer boarding, bedding, and misting. These guidelines are widely applied, yet very little is known about the microenvironment within the trailer. In this study, TQA guidelines (V4) were evaluated via extensive thermal environment measurements during transport in order to evaluate spatial variability and implications on ventilation pattern. Effects of trailer management strategies including bedding, boarding, and misting were examined and the trailer was monitored for interior temperature rise and THI responses within six separate zones. The trailer thermal environment was not uniformly distributed in the colder trips with the top front and bottom zones were the warmest, indicating these zones had the majority of outlet openings and experienced air with accumulated sensible and latent heat of the pigs. Relatively enhanced thermal environment uniformity was observed during hot trips, suggesting that ventilation patterns and ventilation rate were different for colder vs. warmer weather conditions. Misting applied prior to transport cooled interior air temperature, but also created high THI conditions in some cases. Neither boarding and bedding combinations in the TQA nor boarding position showed impacts on trailer interior temperature rise or spatial distribution of temperature inside the trailer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Farm Animal Transport)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Use of Foaming Disinfectants and Cleaners to Reduce Aerobic Bacteria and Salmonella on Poultry Transport Coops
Animals 2018, 8(11), 195; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8110195
Received: 2 September 2018 / Revised: 16 October 2018 / Accepted: 18 October 2018 / Published: 2 November 2018
PDF Full-text (2258 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Transport coops are infrequently washed and have been demonstrated to cross-contaminate broiler carcasses. We hypothesized that peracetic acid or a chlorinated cleaner, commonly used within poultry processing plants, can also be used to disinfect transport coops when applied via a compressed air foam
[...] Read more.
Transport coops are infrequently washed and have been demonstrated to cross-contaminate broiler carcasses. We hypothesized that peracetic acid or a chlorinated cleaner, commonly used within poultry processing plants, can also be used to disinfect transport coops when applied via a compressed air foam system (CAFS). A mixture of fresh layer manure and concentrated Salmonella Typhimurium (ST) was evenly applied to the floors of four pre-cleaned transport coops and allowed to dry for thirty minutes. Treatments consisted of a (1) water rinse only, (2) product application with a water rinse, (3) product application followed by power washing and (4) power washing followed by application of product. Each foaming treatment was applied with a compressed air foam system and allowed 10 min of contact time. Samples were aseptically collected from the transport coops prior to and following treatment using a sterile 2 × 2-inch stainless steel template and a gauze swab pre-enriched with buffered peptone water. The chlorinated cleaner significantly (p < 0.05) reduced aerobic bacteria and ST by 3.18 to 4.84 logs across application methods. The peroxyacetic acid (PAA) disinfectant significantly (p < 0.05) reduced aerobic bacteria and ST by 3.99 to 5.17 logs across application methods. These data indicate that a compressed air foam system may be used in combination with a commercially available cleaner or disinfectant to reduce aerobic bacteria and ST on the surfaces of commercial poultry transport coops. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Farm Animal Transport)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Effect of Two Transport Options on the Welfare of Two Genetic Lines of Organic Free Range Pullets in Switzerland
Animals 2018, 8(10), 183; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8100183
Received: 23 August 2018 / Revised: 14 October 2018 / Accepted: 16 October 2018 / Published: 19 October 2018
PDF Full-text (2015 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The welfare of two genetic lines of organic layer hen pullets—H&N Super Nick (HNS) and H&N Brown Nick (HNB)—was compared during two commercial transport variants of 15 flocks of mixed-reared birds. Birds were either transported overnight (with a break in travel), or were
[...] Read more.
The welfare of two genetic lines of organic layer hen pullets—H&N Super Nick (HNS) and H&N Brown Nick (HNB)—was compared during two commercial transport variants of 15 flocks of mixed-reared birds. Birds were either transported overnight (with a break in travel), or were transported direct to the layer farm (without a break in travel). Samples of feces were collected non-invasively from 25 birds of each genetic line per flock for each transport variant before transportation to evaluate baseline values of glucocorticoid metabolites, and at 0 h, 3 h, 6 h, 10 h, 24 h, 34 h, 48 h, 58 h, and 72 h after the end of transportation, to measure transportation and translocation stress. We assessed the fear toward humans with the touch test before transportation, and we checked the birds’ body condition by scoring the plumage condition and the occurrence of injuries. Body weight before and weight loss after transportation were determined, and ambient temperature was measured before, during, and after transportation. Stress investigations showed no significant differences between the transport variants (effect: −0.208; 95% confidence interval (CI): (−0.567; 0.163)). Instead, we discovered differences between the pullet lines (effect: −0.286; 95% CI: (−0.334; 0.238)). Weight loss was different between the transport variants (2.1 percentage points; 95% CI: (−2.6; −1.5)) and between the genetic lines, as HNB lost significantly less weight than HNS (0.5 percentage points; 95% CI: (0.3; 0.7)). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Farm Animal Transport)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Apulo-Calabrese and Crossbreed Pigs Show Different Physiological Response and Meat Quality Traits after Short Distance Transport
Animals 2018, 8(10), 177; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8100177
Received: 21 August 2018 / Revised: 4 October 2018 / Accepted: 8 October 2018 / Published: 10 October 2018
PDF Full-text (1844 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Despite the increasing interest in the welfare of animals during transport, very little is known on the response of local pig breeds to the transport procedures. This study aims to compare the effect of short journey on behaviour, blood parameters, and meat quality
[...] Read more.
Despite the increasing interest in the welfare of animals during transport, very little is known on the response of local pig breeds to the transport procedures. This study aims to compare the effect of short journey on behaviour, blood parameters, and meat quality traits in 51 Apulo-Calabrese and 52 crossbreed [Duroc × (Landrace × Large White)] pigs. All the animals were blood sampled five days before delivery (basal condition) and at exsanguination for the analysis of creatine kinase, cortisol, glucose, lactate, albumin, albumin/globulin, total protein, urea, creatinine, aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase, alkaline phosphate, sodium, and potassium. Post mortem pH, color, drip loss, cooking loss, and Warner-Bratzler shear force were measured at different times in longissimus thoracis samples. Univariate and multivariate analyses showed that glucose, albumin/globulin, urea, and AST at exsanguination were influenced by the genetic type. Apulo-Calabrese showed the highest increase in blood values of lactate, creatinine, sodium and potassium after the short distance transport. Behavioural occurrences were similar in both genetic types during unloading and lairage. Small differences were observed for meat quality although significantly higher a* and lower L* were found in Apulo-Calabrese pigs, showing meat with a deeper red colour than crossbreeds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Farm Animal Transport)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle “I Feel Sorry for Them”: Australian Meat Consumers’ Perceptions about Sheep and Beef Cattle Transportation
Animals 2018, 8(10), 171; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8100171
Received: 9 September 2018 / Revised: 26 September 2018 / Accepted: 29 September 2018 / Published: 3 October 2018
PDF Full-text (228 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Concern for livestock welfare is significantly increasing in many parts of the world. One area of concern is the transportation of livestock. Using qualitative research methods, this research explores the concerns of Australian meat consumers related to livestock transportation practices, both on land
[...] Read more.
Concern for livestock welfare is significantly increasing in many parts of the world. One area of concern is the transportation of livestock. Using qualitative research methods, this research explores the concerns of Australian meat consumers related to livestock transportation practices, both on land by truck and on sea by ship. Participants were predominantly concerned about animals being “crammed” into trucks and ships, and the long distances over which livestock were transported. Likely contributors to these reactions are the high visibility of truck transport in urban areas, and recent media and political attention to the live-export issue in Australia. We argue that participants’ concerns about transport are arising for a variety of reasons, including anthropomorphic tendencies, genuine concern for the welfare of farm animals, and emotional responses related to the discomfort experienced by meat consumers when they are reminded of the meat-animal connection. Given the importance of transport to the red-meat production industry, these results suggest that the sector may need to reconsider some of their practices and increase transparency and communication about the practices, which they utilise to ensure good animal welfare. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Farm Animal Transport)
Open AccessCommunication Effects of Short Transport and Prolonged Fasting in Beef Calves
Animals 2018, 8(10), 170; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8100170
Received: 31 August 2018 / Revised: 19 September 2018 / Accepted: 25 September 2018 / Published: 3 October 2018
PDF Full-text (506 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Marketing is a stressful process for beef calves, because they are removed from their environment, often weaned just before loading, loaded, transported, and unloaded. It also involves extended periods without food and water and mixing with unfamiliar animals in an unknown environment. Some
[...] Read more.
Marketing is a stressful process for beef calves, because they are removed from their environment, often weaned just before loading, loaded, transported, and unloaded. It also involves extended periods without food and water and mixing with unfamiliar animals in an unknown environment. Some studies have shown that calves sold through markets are exposed to extended fasting periods even when they undergo only short transportation times. The aim of this controlled study was to determine the consequences for beef calves of a short transportation time followed by a prolonged time without food and water on their tympanic temperature (TT), maximum eye temperature (MET), blood variables related to stress, and live weight. Ten calves were transported for 3 h and then kept in an outdoor pen for 21 h, completing a 24 h fasting period. Sampling took place before loading, after transport and unloading, and then after completing 24 h without food and water. TT, MET, blood glucose, and creatine kinase (CK) increased significantly after transportation. Live weight decreased across sample times (mean of 10 kg per calf after 24 h of fasting), which was consistent with the higher concentration of β-HB found after fasting. Further studies to measure the actual consequences of true, commercial marketing on calf welfare and productivity are needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Farm Animal Transport)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Road Transport of Farm Animals: Mortality, Morbidity, Species and Country of Origin at a Southern Italian Control Post
Animals 2018, 8(9), 155; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8090155
Received: 17 August 2018 / Revised: 14 September 2018 / Accepted: 15 September 2018 / Published: 17 September 2018
PDF Full-text (1923 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Statistics on animal transport and its implications for health and welfare are limited. This study documented the animals transiting through a control post and their welfare outcomes measured by mortality rate and the prevalence of animals considered unfit for further transport (i.e., morbidity).
[...] Read more.
Statistics on animal transport and its implications for health and welfare are limited. This study documented the animals transiting through a control post and their welfare outcomes measured by mortality rate and the prevalence of animals considered unfit for further transport (i.e., morbidity). Reports filed by the director of the control post and Official Veterinarians from 2010 to 2015 were analyzed. A total of 60,454 (54.2%) sheep/goats, 45,749 (41.0%) cattle, and 5333 (4.8%) pigs travelled in 225 (16.2%), 1116 (80.2%) and 50 (3.6%) trucks, respectively. Trucks coming mainly from France (71.3%), Spain (14.0%), and Ireland (7.4%) went mainly to Greece (95.4%), which was also the most common nationality of the transport companies (44.6%). Cases of mortality and/or morbidity were reported for only 11 out of the 1391 trucks (0.8%). The average mortality and morbidity rates were 0.025% and 0.010%, with maximum values for transport of lambs (0.084%, and 0.019%). Species of animal being transported and space allowance were associated with the measured welfare outcomes (p < 0.05). Overall, this study provided statistics based on official surveillance reports, suggesting that small space allowance during long haul transportation of sheep/goats may affect their health and welfare. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Farm Animal Transport)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessFeature PaperCommunication An Evaluation of Two Different Broiler Catching Methods
Animals 2018, 8(8), 141; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8080141
Received: 26 June 2018 / Revised: 10 August 2018 / Accepted: 13 August 2018 / Published: 15 August 2018
PDF Full-text (858 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Catching is the first step in the pre-slaughter chain for broiler chickens. The process may be detrimental for animal welfare due to the associated handling. The aim of this pilot study was to compare two different methods to manually catch broilers: Catching the
[...] Read more.
Catching is the first step in the pre-slaughter chain for broiler chickens. The process may be detrimental for animal welfare due to the associated handling. The aim of this pilot study was to compare two different methods to manually catch broilers: Catching the broilers by two legs and carrying them inverted (LEGS) or catching the broilers under the abdomen and carrying them in an upright position (UPRIGHT). Wing and leg fractures upon arrival at the abattoir, animal density in the drawers, birds on their back, broilers dead-on-arrival and time to fill the transport modules were investigated. The results showed that mean crating time was shorter in the UPRIGHT method (p = 0.007). There was a tendency for more wing fractures in broilers caught by the LEGS (p = 0.06). The animal density in the drawers was lower and with a smaller range in the UPRIGHT method (p = 0.022). The results indicate that catching the broilers under the abdomen in an upright position may improve broiler welfare in terms of fewer wing fractures, more consistent stocking density in drawers and potentially reduced loading time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Farm Animal Transport)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Relationship between Methods of Loading and Unloading, Carcass Bruising, and Animal Welfare in the Transportation of Extensively Reared Beef Cattle
Animals 2018, 8(7), 119; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8070119
Received: 21 June 2018 / Revised: 9 July 2018 / Accepted: 13 July 2018 / Published: 17 July 2018
PDF Full-text (382 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In Uruguay, extensive, welfare-friendly beef production is a substantial part of the economy and culture. Transport of beef cattle to slaughterhouse compromises animal welfare. The objective of this study was to assess transport conditions related to carcass bruising. A total of 242 trucks
[...] Read more.
In Uruguay, extensive, welfare-friendly beef production is a substantial part of the economy and culture. Transport of beef cattle to slaughterhouse compromises animal welfare. The objective of this study was to assess transport conditions related to carcass bruising. A total of 242 trucks with 8132 animals were assessed on loading, transport, unloading conditions, and carcass bruising. Average loading time was 26 min and 21 s and the perception of the truck drivers was correlated with the time took for loading and the use of devices. In 39.3% of the loadings only a flag was used. The average unloading time was 5 min and 54 s with a significant difference in time for the use of devices; only flag 3 min 51 s, cattle prod 6 min 43 s and sticks 8 min 09 s. Of the carcasses observed, 772 (9.5%) had no bruises, 873 (10.7%) had one bruise, 1312 (16.1%) two, 1231 (15.1%) three and 3944 (48.5%) had four or more bruises. Prevalence of bruises were highest on the Tuber-coxea (hip) (29.3%) following forequarter (22.4%), Tuber-ischiadicum (rear) (17.3%), ribs/flank (14.1%), rump/round (10.1%) and loin (6.8%). Bruises were 68.7% grade 1 and 31.3 % grade 2; there were no grade 3, the deepest ones, observed. It appeared that animal welfare training of truck drivers worked out well and the use of flags increased compared to a previous study in 2008. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Farm Animal Transport)
Figures

Figure 1

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview A Systematic Review of Heat Load in Australian Livestock Transported by Sea
Animals 2018, 8(10), 164; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8100164
Received: 31 August 2018 / Revised: 23 September 2018 / Accepted: 23 September 2018 / Published: 27 September 2018
PDF Full-text (302 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The transport of animals by sea (‘live export’) is one of the most important current animal welfare issues in Australian society. Recent media attention has highlighted concerns regarding the effects of high environmental temperature and humidity on the welfare and mortality of sheep
[...] Read more.
The transport of animals by sea (‘live export’) is one of the most important current animal welfare issues in Australian society. Recent media attention has highlighted concerns regarding the effects of high environmental temperature and humidity on the welfare and mortality of sheep being shipped live from Australia to the Middle East, especially during the Northern Hemisphere summer. To improve understanding of how and why harmful heat load occurs, we systematically reviewed Australian research into heat load and sea transport. High thermal load occurs during the sea transport of sheep and cattle from Australia when animals are subject to hot and humid environmental conditions and cannot remove heat generated by metabolic processes in the body, potentially also gaining heat from the environment. Several approaches have been proposed to mitigate these risks, including avoidance of voyages in hot seasons, selection of heat-resistant livestock breeds, reducing stocking density, and improved ventilation. We identified a lack of scientific literature relating to heat load in animals transported by sea and considerable potential for bias in the literature that was found. We identified the following priority research areas: (i) experimental manipulation of variables thought to influence the incidence and severity of harmful heat load, including sheep density; (ii) further assessment of the Heat Stress Risk Assessment (HSRA) model used to predict heat load events, and (iii) development of a suite of animal welfare indicators that may allow identification of ‘at risk’ sheep before they reach debilitating heat load condition. Addressing these knowledge gaps will assist efforts to reduce the frequency and intensity of harmful heat load events. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Farm Animal Transport)
Open AccessFeature PaperReview Welfare Problems in Cattle, Pigs, and Sheep that Persist Even Though Scientific Research Clearly Shows How to Prevent Them
Animals 2018, 8(7), 124; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8070124
Received: 27 June 2018 / Revised: 12 July 2018 / Accepted: 13 July 2018 / Published: 20 July 2018
PDF Full-text (194 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Poor production and handling practices continue to persist that are both detrimental to animal welfare and financially burdensome. These practices continue to persist for three reasons: (1) a segmented marketing chain where a producer is not held financially accountable for losses; (2) failure
[...] Read more.
Poor production and handling practices continue to persist that are both detrimental to animal welfare and financially burdensome. These practices continue to persist for three reasons: (1) a segmented marketing chain where a producer is not held financially accountable for losses; (2) failure to measure and assess chronic painful problems such as lame livestock; and (3) repeating old mistakes, such as housing fattening cattle for long periods of time on bare concrete. Two examples of the first type of losses are bruises caused by poor handling and sick cattle at feedlots caused by failure to vaccinate and precondition weaned calves at the farm of origin. In some segmented marketing systems, there is no economic incentive to vaccinate. When the animals get sick, the responsibility gets passed to the next person. Buyers of meat products can reduce these “passed on” losses by source verification. The first step to reducing problems, such as lame livestock, is to measure the percentage of lame animals and work with the producers to reduce them. Also, transportation payments should be changed and contracts should be based on the condition of the animals at delivery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Farm Animal Transport)
Back to Top