A fan bank benefits pigs in stationary trucks

Research conducted on behalf of Swine Innovation Porc indicates the use of a supplemental fan bank ventilation system when swine transport vehicles are sitting stationary, enhances the effectiveness of water sprinkling in regulating the body temperature of the pigs.

As part of research being conducted on behalf of Swine Innovation Porc, scientists are evaluating the effect of vibration during transport on swine behavior and the effectiveness of micro climate control in improving pig comfort when swine transports are sitting stationary.

Dr. Luigi Faucitano, a meat scientist with the Dairy and Swine Research and Development Centre of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, says one objective is to determine the effectiveness of a supplemental fan bank ventilation system placed outside the stationary truck on the farm after loading or at the plant before unloading. The research is in response to a previous study, which assessed water sprinkling to cool pigs. [Source: Farmscape for October 14, 2016, by Bruce Cochran]

Dr. Luigi Faucitano-Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada:

"The results of the study showed that water sprinkling was very efficient in cooling off the pigs but also that, as we were sprinkling water inside the truck, there was an increase in relative humidity inside the truck," Dr. Faucitano said. "Compared to temperature, this can be even more dangerous in terms of pig welfare and pig comfort in the truck. The solution to remove this excessive humidity in the truck is to ventilate the truck in order to cool off the pigs and remove the humidity at the same time.

"We wanted to test this new equipment, which was installed at the slaughter plant in Ontario, completely new and redesigned for our needs," he continued. "We found that the system was very efficient. Pigs that were cooled off with this system had lower body temperature and, at a decreasing body temperature, they were less dehydrated at the slaughter point."

Dr. Faucitano says other measures of pig comfort and welfare are still being analyzed.