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The Welfare of pigs during Transport and Slaughter

By Temple Grandin

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To maintain a high standard of animal welfare during the transportation and slaughter of pigs requires both the proper equipment and supervision of employees. The use of numerical scoring of handling and stunning can help maintain high standards because it will enable management to determine whether or not practices are improving or deteriorating. The following variables should be measured: 1) The percentage of pigs stunned correctly, 2) percentage that remain insensible, 3) percentage that are prodded with an electric goad, 4) percentage that fall during handling and 5) percentage vocalizing. For electric stunning, sufficient amperage must be passed through a pig's brain to induce an epileptic seizure. For carbon dioxide, a 90% concentration is recommended. Other gas mixtures are reviewed. Handling facilities must be designed so that pigs move easily without baulking or backing up and have non-slip floors. Research on the following topics is reviewed: electric stunning, carbon dioxide stunning, pig behaviour during handling, return to sensibility, facility design, truck loading, density and transport stress.


Katie Carroll

Date 2003
Publication Title Pig News and Information
Volume 24
Issue 3
Pages 83N-90N
Publisher CAB International
Language English
Additional Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal care
  2. Animal roles
  3. Animal slaughter
  4. Animal transport
  5. Animal welfare
  6. Ethics
  7. Farm animals
  8. Food animals
  9. Health
  10. Livestock
  11. Livestock transporters
  12. Mammals
  13. Pigs
  14. slaughterhouses