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You are here: Home / Journal Articles / The associations between animal-based welfare measures and the presence of indicators of food safety in finishing pigs / About

The associations between animal-based welfare measures and the presence of indicators of food safety in finishing pigs

By I. Alpigiani, C. Bacci, L. J. Keeling, M. D. Salman, F. Brindani, S. Pongolini, P. L. Hitchens, S. Bonardi

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Abstract

Stressful housing and management practices affect animals, potentially increasing their receptiveness to pathogens. Since some pathogens do not lead to clinical signs of sickness, subclinical pigs could enter the food-chain, contaminating carcases and offal at slaughter, representing a threat to human health. Here, we assess the feasibility of a new approach (using animal-based welfare outcomes) to investigate the association between the animal welfare status of finishing pigs on-farm and the occurrence of Yersinia enterocolitica and Salmonella enterica in slaughtered pigs in Northern Italy. Thirty batches of finishing pigs were assessed for animal-, resource- and management-based measures according to the Welfare Quality protocol for pigs on-farm and at slaughter. A sample of five individuals per batch was tested for Y. enterocolitica and S. enterica in tonsils and in mesenteric lymph nodes, respectively, and gross pathological changes were recorded. Environmental faecal samples per batch on-farm were tested for the same pathogens. Univariable logistic regression models were used to investigate the association between batches of pigs that were positive to Y. enterocolitica and S. enterica and indicators of poor welfare. The animal-based measures of welfare, greater on-farm mortality and poor human-animal relationship, were found to be associated with Y. enterocolitica. This study provides a good indication of the validity of this approach, but there is a need for larger-scale studies in the future to confirm the magnitude of the associations between these animal welfare and food safety indicators.

Publication Title Animal Welfare
Volume 25
Issue 3
Pages 355-363
ISBN/ISSN 0962-7286
DOI 10.7120/09627286.25.3.355
Language English
Author Address Department of Veterinary Science, University of Parma, Parma, Italy.irene.alpigiani@nemo.unipr.it
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Alpigiani, I.; Bacci, C.; Keeling, L. J.; Salman, M. D.; Brindani, F.; Pongolini, S.; Hitchens, P. L.; Bonardi, S. (2017), "The associations between animal-based welfare measures and the presence of indicators of food safety in finishing pigs," http://habricentral.org/resources/59274.

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Tags
  1. Agriculture
  2. Animal housing
  3. Animals
  4. Animal science
  5. Animal welfare
  6. Bacteria
  7. Carcasses
  8. Clinical aspects
  9. Contamination
  10. Countries
  11. Developed countries
  12. Europe
  13. Feasibility
  14. Feces
  15. Food contamination
  16. Food safety
  17. Food science
  18. Health
  19. Humans
  20. Indicators
  21. Infectious diseases
  22. Italy
  23. lymphatic system
  24. Mammals
  25. Meat animals
  26. Meat production
  27. Mediterranean region
  28. Men
  29. models
  30. mortality
  31. Non-communicable diseases and injuries
  32. OECD countries
  33. pathogens
  34. pathology
  35. Pigs
  36. Primates
  37. prokaryotes
  38. Research
  39. residues
  40. safety
  41. Salmonella
  42. Stress
  43. Suiformes
  44. Symptoms
  45. toxicology
  46. ungulates
  47. vertebrates
  48. Veterinary sciences
  49. Zoology