Grant Walling is the Head of the Topigs Norsvin Meat Group who ensure our products achieve their genetic potential during slaughter, processing, packaging, retail and ultimately consumption. Stress during loading and transport can lead to poor pork quality and economic losses. It also is reducing the level of animal welfare. The way animals are treated during transport therefor is an important element in the production of high quality pork.
Grant’s tips for loading and transport:
- Use pig boards and paddles to move pigs. It is easier for the staff and pigs and causes much less stress than electric goads or other farm made tools. Dress staff in dark colored clothing.
- Try to ensure movements are along straight corridors with solid sides or at a gentle curve so the pig can always see 3 body lengths in front. Pigs will naturally be wary about 90o turns or moving from darkness to light or vice versa.
- Never mix animals during the loading process or onto the truck. This may mean additional pens and gates required around the loading ramp to achieve this.
- Avoid steep ramps that pigs may find difficult navigating. Ideally all ramps will be <20o incline.
- Time the transport to meet the allocated time for unloading at the slaughter plant. Avoid vehicles having to wait prolonged periods to unload or routes with stationary traffic.