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Effect of the halothane gene on pre-slaughter mortality in two Spanish commercial pig abattoirs

By E. Fabrega, A. Diestre, D. Carrion, J. Font, X. Manteca

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A total of 107 ear samples from all the pigs that died during transport or lairage at two commercial abattoirs in Spain were collected during two months (February and July 2000), in order to determine their halothane genotype (NN, Nn or nn). The frequencies of the three halothane genotypes among dead pigs were significantly different (P<0.001), being 4.7, 24.3 and 71.0% for NN, Nn and nn individuals, respectively. The frequencies of preslaughter deaths within each genotype were estimated to be 0.02, 0.09 and 2.29% for NN, Nn and nn genotypes, respectively. According to these results, the removal of both nn and Nn genotypes would give rise to an eleven-fold reduction in the preslaughter mortality rate (from 0.22 to 0.02%). It is therefore suggested that, from an animal welfare point of view, the elimination of the halothane gene in existing breeding schemes would have a major beneficial impact.

Date 2002
Publication Title Animal Welfare
Volume 11
Issue 4
Pages 449-452
ISBN/ISSN 0962-7286
Language English
Author Address Institut de Recerca i Tecnologia Agroalimentaries, Centre de Tecnologia de la Carn, Monells, Spain.
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal genetics
  2. Animal rights
  3. Animal slaughter
  4. Animal transport
  5. Animal welfare
  6. Developed countries
  7. Europe
  8. Genes
  9. Genotypes
  10. Mammals
  11. Mediterranean region
  12. mortality
  13. OECD countries
  14. peer-reviewed
  15. slaughter
  16. slaughterhouses
  17. Spain
  18. Swine
  1. peer-reviewed