Wspólnotowy Serwis Informacyjny Badan i Rozwoju - CORDIS

Pig APP after long distance transport

Interest is being increasingly focused on the welfare of transported animals, because of the consequences of the stress generated during transport in meat quality and the value of the final product, as well as the apparent awareness of consumers over the ethical quality of the meat they eat. Transport is an inherent stressful procedure, and circumstances as vibration, restricted space, mixing, lack of ventilation, or deprivation of food and water can compromise pig welfare.

Different parameters have been used in the evaluation of animal welfare during transport, including behavioural observations, or physiological parameters as glucocorticoids or heart rate, but it does not exist a consensus about which of them is the most adequate. Recently it has been suggested that APP (acute phase proteins) could be used in the evaluation of transport conditions.

In this study the APP response after a 700 km transport by road in commercial conditions was evaluated. Serum samples were obtained at farm the day before transport, immediately after arrival to the abattoir (12 hours of trip )and the day before, in the slaughter line, after 12 hours of lairage. An increase of the positive APP pig-MAP (2 times, p=0.0001), haptoglobin (1.5 times p=0.0227), CRP (5 times, p=0.0001) and SAA (14 times p=0.0014) and a decrease of the negative APP ApoA-I (30%, p=0.0001) was observed the day after transport.

Different factors concur during transport, including stress caused by coping with new environments, mixing, fight between animals as well as spread of pathogens that could be the cause of APP elevation. However it is clear that the increase of APP levels reflex the presence of situations that compromise animal welfare.

Studies have shown that APP can experiment higher increases in these transport conditions that represent higher levels of stress for the animal. Thus APP appears interesting parameters to determine welfare during transport, and to evaluate transport conditions. In the other hand, if the APP assay is going to be integrated in the quality systems, it is necessary to consider this effect.

More information on the APP IN PIG PRODUCTIO -project can be found at:

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PigCHAMP Pro Europa S.A.
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