Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Animal-based measures on fattening heavy pigs at the slaughterhouse and the association with animal welfare at the farm level: a preliminary study

  • A. M. Maisano (a1), M. Luini (a1), N. Vitale (a2), S. Rota Nodari (a3), F. Scali (a3), G. L. Alborali (a3) and F. Vezzoli (a1)...

Abstract

Monitoring animal welfare (AW) in pig farms requires both proper indicators and a feasible approach. Animal-based measures (ABMs) are well-established AW indicators. Furthermore, AW screening at the slaughterhouses could be useful for identifying problems on farm. The aim of this study was to evaluate ABMs at the slaughterhouse and, when possible, to compare these ABMs with those collected on the farm. The study was carried out in northern Italy in a commercial abattoir and in a sample of farms. Animal-based measures were recorded on pigs from 62 batches of 54 farms, during ante-mortem (n=10 085 pigs) and post-mortem (n=7952 pigs) inspections. Sixteen of 54 farms were selected to compare ABMs collected at the slaughterhouse with ABMs collected on the farm. Overall, 2295 pigs (mean pigs examined per farm 119±45) were inspected at the slaughterhouse (group S) and 420 pigs (mean pigs per farm 26±5) on the farm (group F). Non-animal-based measures were also collected at the 16 farms. Differences between groups S and F, at the animal level, were assessed by a two-tailed paired Wilcoxon–Mann–Whitney test. Differences at the site of observation level (farm and slaughterhouse) were assessed by Fisher’s exact test using a hierarchical log-linear modelling for contingency tables. The most frequent ABMs at the slaughterhouse were manure on the body (47.7%), followed by dermatitis (28.0%), white spot (25.4%) and bursitis (24.7%). Recording ABMs at the slaughterhouse and on the farm usually yielded similar results; however, there were some exceptions. In particular, significant differences were found for non-uniformity of size (P<0.05) and dermatitis (P<0.001), which were higher at the slaughterhouse than on the farm. Results of log-linear modelling underlined the effect of the farm of origin on the percentage of pigs with bursitis, manure on the body and ear injuries that were observed at the slaughterhouse. In group S, significant associations between manure on the body and insufficient presence of clean and dry areas in the corresponding farm were found (P<0.05). Although these results should be interpreted with care due to the limited sample of farms, the slaughterhouse could be a feasible site of observation of ABMs, which could then be integrated in monitoring of AW on farm. Considering the number of slaughtered batches per farm, it would be possible to repeat assessments several times throughout the year for each farm, which could help provide an index for the continuous monitoring of AW.

Copyright

Corresponding author

References

Hide All
Algers, B, Blokhuis, HJ, Broom, DM, Costa, P, Domingo, M, Greiner, M, Guemene, D, Hartung, J, Koenen, F, Muller-Graf, C, Morton, DB, Osterhaus, A, Pfeiffer, DU, Roberts, R, Sanaa, M, Salman, M, Michael Sharp, J, Vannier, P, Wierup, M and Wooldridge, M 2007. Pig welfare risks associated with tail biting. EFSA Journal 611, 113.
Andersen, EMO, Spangsberg, R, Pedersen, KS, Barington, K and Jensen, HE 2014. Umbilical hernia and differential diagnoses in slaughter pigs. In Proceedings of the 23rd International Pig Veterinary Society (IPVS) Congress, 8–11 June 2014, Cancun, Mexico, p. 126.
Boes, J, Kanora, A, Havn, KT, Christiansen, S, Vestergaard-Nielsen, K, Jacobs, J and Alban, L 2010. Effect of Ascaris suum infection on performance of fattening pigs. Veterinary Parasitology 172, 269276.
Bottacini, M, Scollo, A, Edwards, S, Contiero, B, Veloci, M, Pace, V and Gottardo, F 2018. Skin lesion monitoring at slaughter on heavy pigs (170 kg): welfare indicators and ham defects. PLoS ONE 13, 116.
Brandt, P and Aaslyng, MD 2015. Welfare measurements of finishing pigs on the day of slaughter: a review. Meat Science 103, 1323.
Cargill, CF, Pointon, AM, Davies, PR and Garcia, R 1997. Using slaughter inspections to evaluate sarcoptic mange infestation of finishing swine. Veterinary Parasitology 70, 13.
Carroll, GA, Boyle, LA, Teixeira, DL, Van Staaveren, N, Hanlon, A and O’Connell, NE 2016. Effects of scalding and dehairing of pig carcasses at abattoirs on the visibility of welfare-related lesions. Animal 10, 460467.
Dalmau, A, Nande, A, Vieira-Pinto, M, Zamprogna, S, Di Martino, G, Ribas, JCR, da Costa, MP, Halinen-Elemo, K and Velarde, A 2016. Application of the Welfare Quality® protocol in pig slaughterhouses of five countries. Livestock Science 193, 7887.
Dalmau, A, Temple, D, Rodríguez, P, Llonch, P and Velarde, A 2009. Application of the Welfare Quality® protocol at pig slaughterhouses. Animal Welfare 18, 497505.
European Food Safety Authority 2005. The welfare of weaners and rearing pigs: effects of different space allowances and floor types. Scientific Report: Efsa-Q-2004-077, 119.
European Food Safety Authority 2007a. Scientific opinion of the Panel on Animal Health and Welfare on a request from the Commission on Animal health and welfare in fattening pigs in relation to housing and husbandry. EFSA Journal 564, 114.
European Food Safety Authority 2007b. Scientific opinion of the Panel on Animal Health and Welfare on a request from the Commission on the risks associated with tail biting in pigs and possible means to reduce the need for tail docking considering the different housing and husbandry systems. EFSA Journal 611, 113.
European Food Safety Authority 2011. Scientific opinion on the public health hazards to be covered by inspection of meat (swine). EFSA Journal 9, 1198.
European Food Safety Authority 2012a. Scientific opinion of Panel on Animal Health and Welfare: statement on the use of animal-based measures to assess the welfare of animals. EFSA Journal 10, 2767.
European Food Safety Authority 2012b. Scientific opinion of the Panel on Animal Health and Welfare on the use of animal-based measures to assess welfare in Pigs. EFSA Journal 10, 185.
European Food Safety Authority 2014. Scientific opinion concerning a multifactorial approach on the use of animal and non-animal-based measures to assess the welfare of pigs. EFSA Journal 12, 1101.
Galuppi, R, Avenoso, AM, Leotti, G, Ostanello, F, Poglayen, P and Tampieri, MP 2007. Diagnosis of sarcoptic mange in slaughtered swine. Veterinary Research Communications 31, 233236.
Ghidini, S, Zanardi, E, Di Ciccio, PA, Borrello, S, Belluzi, G, Guizzardi, S and Ianieri, A 2018. Development and test of a visual-only meat inspection system for heavy pigs in Northern Italy. BMC Veterinary Research 14, 6.
Grindflek, E, Hansen, MHS, Lien, S and van Son, M 2018. Genome-wide association study reveals a QTL and strong candidate genes for umbilical hernia in pigs on SSC14. BMC Genomics 19, 412.
Harley, S, More, SJ, O’Connell, NE, Hanlon, A, Teixeira, D and Boyle, L 2012. Evaluating the prevalence of tail biting and carcase condemnations in slaughter pigs in the Republic and Northern Ireland, and the potential of abattoir meat inspection as a welfare surveillance tool. Veterinary Record 171, 621.
Keeling, LJ, Wallenbeck, A, Larsen, A and Holmgren, N 2012. Scoring tail damage in pigs: an evaluation based on recordings at Swedish slaughterhouses. Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica 54, 16.
Knage-Rasmussen, KM, Rousing, T, Sorensen, JT and Houe, H 2015. Assessing animal welfare in sow herds using data on meat inspection, medication and mortality. Animal 9, 509515.
Kongsted, H and Sørensen, JT 2017. Lesions found at routine meat inspection on finishing pigs are associated with production system. Veterinary Journal 223, 2126.
Martínez-Pérez, JM, Vandekerckhove, E, Vlaminck, J, Geldhof, P and Martínez-Valladares, M 2017. Serological detection of Ascaris suum at fattening pig farms is linked with performance and management indices. Veterinary Parasitology 248, 3338.
Merialdi, G, Dottori, M, Bonilauri, P, Luppi, A, Gozio, S, Pozzi, P, Spaggiari, B and Martelli, P 2012. Survey of pleuritis and pulmonary lesions in pigs at abattoir with a focus on the extent of the condition and herd risk factors. The Veterinary Journal 193, 234239.
Pluym, L, Van Nuffel, A, Dewulf, J, Cools, A, Vangroenweghe, F, Van Hoorebeke, S and Maes, D 2011. Prevalence and risk factors of claw lesions and lameness in pregnant sows in two types of group housing. Veterinarni Medicina 53, 101109.
Regulation (EU) 2017/625 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 March 2017 Official Journal of the European Union L 95/1, 1–142.
Schild, SLA, Rousing, T, Jensen, HE, Barington, K and Herskin, MS 2015. Do umbilical outpouchings affect the behaviour or clinical condition of pigs during 6 h housing in a pre-transport pick-up facility? Research in Veterinary Science 101, 126131.
Scollo, A, Contiero, B and Gottardo, F 2016. Frequency of tail lesions and risk factors for tail biting in heavy pig production from weaning to 170 kg live weight. Veterinary Journal 207, 9298.
Smulders, D, Hautekiet, V, Verbeke, G and Geers, R 2008. Tail and ear biting lesions in pigs: an epidemiological study. Animal Welfare 17, 6169.
Van Staaveren, N, Doyle, B, Manzanilla, EG, Calderón Díaz, JA, Hanlon, A and Boyle, LA 2017a. Validation of carcass lesions as indicators for on-farm health and welfare of pigs. Journal of Animal Science 95, 15281536.
Van Staaveren, N, Teixeira, DL, Hanlon, A and Boyle, LA 2017b. Pig carcass tail lesions: the influence of record keeping through an advisory service and the relationship with farm performance parameters. Animal 11, 140146.
Van Staaveren, N, Vale, AP, Manzanilla, EG, Teixeira, DL, Leonard, FC, Hanlon, A and Boyle, LA 2016. Relationship between tail lesions and lung health in slaughter pigs. Preventive Veterinary Medicine 127, 2126.
Vitali, A, Lana, E, Amadori, M, Bernabucci, U, Nardone, A and Lacetera, N 2014. Analysis of factors associated with mortality of heavy slaughter pigs during transport and lairage. Journal of Animal Science 92, 51345141.
vom Brocke, AL, Karnholz, C, Madey-Rindermann, D, Gauly, M, Leeb, C, Winckler, C, Schrader, and Dippel, S 2018. Tail lesions in fattening pigs: relationships with postmortem meat inspection and influence of a tail biting management tool. Animal 13, 835844.
Teixeira, DL, Harley, S, Hanlon, A, O’Connell, NE, More, SJ, Manzanilla, EG and Boyle, LA 2016. Study on the association between tail lesion score, cold carcass weight, and viscera condemnations in slaughter pigs. Frontiers in Veterinary Science 3, 24.
Temple, D, Courboulay, V, Manteca, X, Velarde, A and Dalmau, A 2012. The welfare of growing pigs in five different production systems: assessment of feeding and housing. Animal 6, 656667.
Velarde, A and Dalmau, A 2012. Animal welfare assessment at slaughter in Europe: moving from inputs to outputs. Meat Science 92, 244251.
Welfare Quality 2009. Welfare Quality® assessment protocol for pigs (sows and piglets, growing and finishing pigs). Welfare Quality® Consortium, Lelystad, The Netherlands.

Keywords

Type Description Title
WORD
Supplementary materials

Maisano et al. supplementary material
Maisano et al. supplementary material 1

 Word (25.8 MB)
25.8 MB

Animal-based measures on fattening heavy pigs at the slaughterhouse and the association with animal welfare at the farm level: a preliminary study

  • A. M. Maisano (a1), M. Luini (a1), N. Vitale (a2), S. Rota Nodari (a3), F. Scali (a3), G. L. Alborali (a3) and F. Vezzoli (a1)...

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed