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Study: Pork Quality Varies According to Compartment

by 5m Editor
14 September 2009, at 12:00pm

CANADA - A just completed transportation study shows the quality of pork will vary depending on the compartment of the truck in which pigs are transported, writes Bruce Cochrane.

A team of scientists looked at the transport of market pigs in summer and winter in eastern and western Canada using conventional pot bellied trucks used for moving cattle or pigs.

Dr. Harold Gonyou, a research scientist in animal behavior with the Prairie Swine Centre, says the effect of different variables on meat quality such as temperature in the 10 compartments, the difficulty of moving pigs into and out of each compartment and physiological measures of the pig at slaughter where examined.

Dr. Harold Gonyou-Prairie Swine Centre

We wanted to look at really the effect of different compartments on the truck.

We know that during transport there is a significant loss of pigs and also of pork quality.

We lose several thousand pigs a year within Canada.

Although it's usually less than a half a pig per load on average, it does amount to considerable amounts of losses overall.

But probably the greater losses are in the reduction of pork quality, of meat quality in pigs due to the stress that occurs while they're being shipped.

That's very important in terms of the quality that comes back so we have both a strong economic concern and we also have a strong animal care concern in terms of improving conditions for shipping.


Dr. Gonyou says we see variation in temperature within the different compartments, in the ease of loading and unloading and in terms of stress on the pig.

He says studies are now being conducted looking modifications aimed at improving the movement of pigs into and out of the different compartments and improving air flow to balance temperature.

For more information on the study visit the Prairie Swine Centre web site and search transport gonyou.