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Travel sickness and meat quality in pigs

By R. H. Bradshaw, J. M. Randall, M. L. Forsling, R. Rodway, J. A. Goode, S. N. Brown, D. M. Broom

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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.

Date 1999
Publication Title Animal Welfare
Volume 8
Issue 1
Pages 3-14
ISBN/ISSN 0962-7286
Language English
Author Address Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0ES, UK.
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal behavior
  2. Animal rights
  3. Animal slaughter
  4. Animal transport
  5. Animal welfare
  6. Blood
  7. Cortisol
  8. Endorphins
  9. Hormones
  10. Hydrocortisone
  11. Illnesses
  12. Mammals
  13. Meat.
  14. Meat animals
  15. Meat production
  16. muscles
  17. peer-reviewed
  18. pork
  19. slaughter
  20. slaughterhouses
  21. Stress
  22. Swine
  23. Symptoms
  24. vomiting
  1. peer-reviewed