Aarhus Universitets segl

Temperature conditions during commercial transportation of cull sows to slaughter

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Management of ambient temperature is central in sow production, but temperature in commercial trucks transporting sows has only received limited scientific focus. We aimed to describe temperature inside trucks depending on season and on shifts in state of the trucks (‘non-stationary’, ‘stopped’, ‘waiting’) transporting sows (up to 8 h) to slaughter. Temperature outside the trucks was described during the last part of the journeys, and compared with temperature inside the trucks. Data were collected during 12 months and included 39 commercial journeys. We measured temperature (°C) inside trucks every minute in one compartment holding sows at commercial density. Data for temperature outside the trucks were collected from an official weather station near the slaughterhouse. Mean journey duration was 233 ± 114 min (range 47–470 min). From GPS-data, 26 of the journeys involved at least one stop lasting 5 min or more. Stops had a mean duration of 14 ± 8 min (range 5–40 min). Mean temperature inside trucks during journeys was 13.8 ± 5.3 °C (3.3–26.0), and differed between seasons. During journeys, temperature inside trucks increased during stationary periods. When compared to the outside temperature during 10 min before arriving at the slaughterhouse, and in the first 10 min of waiting after arrival, the mean temperature difference between inside and outside the truck ranged from 3 to 7 °C.

The results suggest that in a moderate climatic zone like Denmark, temperature in trucks transporting sows to slaughter was not maintained within the thermal comfort zone of sows, and increased during stationary periods. This may have adverse consequences in terms of animal welfare. Future studies of optimization of transport management, ventilation and logistics are needed to examine possibilities to maintain temperatures in the comfort zone.
TidsskriftComputers and Electronics in Agriculture
Antal sider8
StatusUdgivet - jan. 2022

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