The HABRI Central Team continues to monitor emerging research and information about the COVID-19 pandemic. Visit our collection of resources, https://habricentral.org/features/covid-19 close

 
You are here: Home / Journal Articles / An initial investigation into the effects of isolation and enrichment on the welfare of laboratory pigs housed in the PigTurn system, assessed using tear staining, behaviour, physiology and haematology / About

An initial investigation into the effects of isolation and enrichment on the welfare of laboratory pigs housed in the PigTurn system, assessed using tear staining, behaviour, physiology and haematology

By S. P. DeBoer, J. P. Garner, R. R. McCain, D. C. Lay, S. D. Eicher, J. N. Marchant-Forde

View Link (HTM)

Licensed under

Category Journal Articles
Abstract

In some parts of the world, the laboratory pig ( Sus scrofa) is often housed in individual, sterile housing which may impose stress. Our objectives were to determine the effects of isolation and enrichment on pigs housed within the PigTurn - a novel penning system with automated blood sampling - and to investigate tear staining as a novel welfare indicator. Twenty Yorkshire * Landrace weaner pigs were randomly assigned to one of four treatments in a 2*2 factorial combination of enrichment (non-enriched [NE] or enriched [E]) and isolation (visually isolated [I] or able to see another pig [NI]). Pigs were catheterised and placed into the PigTurns 48 h post recovery. Blood was collected automatically twice daily to determine white blood cell (WBC) differential counts and assayed for cortisol. Photographs of the eyes were taken daily and tear staining was quantified using a 0-5 scoring scale and Image-J software to measure stain area and perimeter. Behaviour was video recorded and scan sampled to determine time budgets. Data were analysed as an REML using the MIXED procedure of SAS. Enrichment tended to increase proportion of time standing and lying laterally and decrease plasma cortisol, tear-stain area and perimeter. There was a significant isolation by enrichment interaction. Enrichment given to pigs housed in isolation had no effect on plasma cortisol, but greatly reduced it in non-isolated pigs. Tear-staining area and perimeter were highest in the NE-I treatment compared to the other three treatments. Eosinophil count was highest in the E-NI treatment and lowest in the NE-I treatment. The results suggest that in the absence of enrichment, being able to see another animal but not interact may be frustrating. The combination of no enrichment and isolation maximally impacted tear staining and eosinophil numbers. However, appropriate enrichment coupled with proximity of another pig would appear to improve welfare.

Publication Title Animal Welfare
Volume 24
Issue 1
Pages 15-27
ISBN/ISSN 0962-7286
Publisher Universities Federation for Animal Welfare
Language English
Author Address Department of Animal Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA.Jeremy.marchant-forde@ars.usda.gov
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

Tags
  1. Animal genetics
  2. Animal housing
  3. Animal physiology
  4. Animals
  5. Animal welfare
  6. Automation
  7. Blood
  8. Breeding
  9. Breeds
  10. Computers
  11. Documentation
  12. Effect
  13. Enrichment
  14. Eyes
  15. Hematology
  16. Hydrocortisone
  17. Information
  18. Land
  19. Mammals
  20. Meat animals
  21. objectives
  22. peer-reviewed
  23. photography
  24. physiology
  25. Pigs
  26. sampling
  27. Suiformes
  28. Techniques
  29. ungulates
  30. vertebrates
  31. Wild animals
Badges
  1. peer-reviewed