The purpose of this research was to identify pig welfare indicators that could help in recognizing stressful practices on farm. The study evaluated behavioral and physiological indicators (cortisol and negative acute phase proteins) in 2 groups of 20 female pigs 4 months old after a 48-hr transport. The first group (A) was transported at the end of May, the second (B) in June. Behavioral observations and blood collection occurred at arrival (D1) and 28 days later (D28). Compared with within-animal control samples obtained 28 days later, pigs of Group A had increased cortisol levels and decreased albumin concentrations after arrival. As demonstrated by lesion and behavior observations, the effect on cortisol and albumin was higher in Group B pigs after a tail-biting episode occurred. The study has reported no evidence of Retinol Binding Protein (RBP) in pigs. A method developed for swine RBP quantification found RBP strongly reduced in D28 samples of Group B, confirming it to be a negative protein in pigs. The suggested combination of physiological and behavioral indicators could provide useful information on the welfare state of an animal.
|Publication Title||Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science|
|Publisher||Taylor & Francis|
|Author Address||Department of Veterinary Morphophysiology, University of Turin, Turin, Italy.Denise.CANDIANI@efsa.europa.eu|
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