An experiment was conducted to investigate the incidence of travel sickness in pigs, specific hormone concentrations at exsanguination and subsequent meat quality. Fifty, 80-kg slaughter pigs were transported on a lorry for 4.5 h. During the journey, behavioural observations of the individually marked pigs were made every 8 min to see whether the pigs had symptoms of travel sickness (foaming at the mouth and chomping) and to record incidences of retching and vomiting. Upon arrival at the abattoir, pigs were unloaded, slaughtered immediately and a blood sample was taken at exsanguination for analysis of plasma cortisol, beta -endorphin and lysine vasopressin concentrations. On the day after slaughter, the chilled carcass of each pig was assessed for meat quality (using pH, Fibre Optic Probe, and Tecpro Pork Quality Meter measurements) in the longissimus dorsi, semimembranosus and adductor muscles to determine the incidence of pale, soft, exudative (PSE) or dark, firm, dry (DFD) meat quality. 26% of the pigs (13 individuals) vomited or retched during the journey. There was no relationship between the incidence of travel sickness and either the concentrations of the hormones analysed at exsanguination or subsequent meat quality. There were no significant correlations between concentrations of the hormones and meat quality measurements.
|Publication Title||Animal Welfare|
|Author Address||Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0ES, UK.|
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