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Archivos de Zootecnia

versión impresa ISSN 0004-0592


GOSALVEZ, L.F. et al. How are the pigs transported in Spain?: Differences between slaughter and farm destinations. Arch. zootec. [online]. 2011, vol.60, n.230, pp.183-192. ISSN 0004-0592.

To know in the logistics of pig transports in Spain 566 journeys, concerning 34 slaughterhouses and 13 traders, were surveyed by means of questionnaires collecting information relative to 119 transport aspects. Trucks loaded pigs in 1,5 farms on average, loading an average of 160 slaughter pigs or 493 piglets transported to growing farms, with an average stocking density of 214.4 and 103.8 kg/m2 respectively. Pigs were fasted previous to the journey an average of 14.5 hours in 79.2% of slaughter journeys, which lasted 3.4 hours on average, less than half the average duration of farm transports (7.3 hours, p<0.001). In 39% of piglet transports the duration was higher than 8 hours, and in no case a 24 hour stop was necessary, although the percentage of journeys with more than 2 stops was higher than in slaughter transports (22.6% vs. 4.1%; p<0.001). More than 95% of journeys were carried out with one driver, who participated in the loading and unloading of the animals in more than 97% of the cases, and was assisted by another person in 79% of the unloadings at the slaughterhouse (p<0.01). The average loading time was similar between farm and slaugher transports (102 minutes), although the individual loading time in slaughter transports was higher (1.2 minutes/ animal). The unloading was faster at slaughterhouses than in farms (52.9 vs. 25.0 minutes; p<0.001), although the individual loading time was similar for both destinations (0.31 minutes). In both destinations the number of journeys with at least one dead animal was similar (12%), although the average number of dead animals/journey was higher in transports to farm (1.6 animals/journey; p<0.05). No injured pigs were detected at the end of the farm transports, although lesions were found at the end of 17.8% of slaughter transports (3.6 injured pigs/journey on average). Farm and slaughter transports were mainly carried out with vehicles owned by traders or specialized transportists (61.0% y 74.1% respectively; p<0.001), with an average drivers' experience about 15 years. More than 15% of drivers declared to know the current animal welfare legislation, above 48% declared to believe that legislation is not totally complied with, and that legislation should approach more to real transport circumstances. More information and a better scientific basis of the aspect of stops during the journey were demanded. Due to their way of acting is mainly based in a consolidated experience, additional descriptive studies of the activity of livestock transportists are important.

Palabras clave : Pig; Transport; Technical aspects; Mortality; Welfare.

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