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Improved Trailer Design Offers Improved Animal Welfare, Faster Loading & Easier Disinfection

21 July 2017, at 12:00am

CANADA - A Research Scientist Ethology with the Prairie Swine Centre says improved swine transport trailer designs offer improved animal welfare, faster loading and unloading and easier cleaning and disinfection, Bruce Cochrane reports.

As part of research being conducted on behalf of Swine Innovation Porc the Prairie Swine Centre has evaluated the animal handling, animal welfare and cleanability aspects of swine transport trailers.

Dr Jennifer Brown, a Research Scientist Ethology with the Prairie Swine Centre, says livestock transport companies were surveyed and the designs of the trailers they are using were evaluated.

Dr Jennifer Brown-Prairie Swine Centre

Right now everybody is quite interested in the hydraulic trailer designs and alternative designs that are going to both result in easier cleaning and then easier handling of pigs.

Certainly hydraulic trailers, there a lot of interest around them and some of them are simplified by having just one external loading platform so pigs are loaded onto a hydraulic platform that's part of the trailer and then they can be raised to what ever trailer level that they will be shipped in.

Some of them have partial decks so only part of the deck can flip up.

There's been a lot more work on this in European countries so we've looked at the designs there and some of them have brought into mostly eastern Canada and now some studies have been done just recently in western Canada.

These designs are easier for truckers to use and should speed up loading and offloading times and we're hoping, if they're well designed, they're going to be easier to clean as well so improving biosecurity going forward.

Dr Brown sees real benefits in improved trailers designs in reducing disease transfer, in making truckers lives easier in terms of loading and off loading pigs and ultimately in improving meat quality and reducing death losses in these trailers.