10 July 1998

Transporting pigs is under SACscrutiny

BETTER welfare for pigs in transport should be the outcome of SAC research aimed at helping hauliers improve conditions.

John MacDonald, senior technician at SAC Aberdeen said pigs had a temperature zone within which they were comfortable. "It can be difficult to control conditions inside livestock transporters, which routinely travel at 80kmh in a wide range of weather."

Stocking density and ventilation are the keys to controlling the atmosphere inside transporters, and SAC is investigating conditions inside vehicles to provide drivers with information to improve conditions.

Stationary traffic

"Hot weather and stationary traffic can lead to temperatures in the centre of the lorry increasing beyond critical levels, while travelling in biting winds will also adversely affect welfare," said Mr MacDonald.

"We are looking at how hauliers can best control conditions in transporters, as well as identifying better design features for new models," he explained.

The SAC and the Scottish Pig Industry Initiative are also running courses with the aim of helping hauliers manage transport conditions more effectively.