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Road Transport of Farm Animals in Hot Climates - AW0815

Description
Current physiological and mathematical models of the resposes of livestock to transportation have been developed and are being considered in the formation of strategies for improvements in the welfare of animals in transit through legislation, codes of practice and engineering solutions. The validation of such models under practical field conditions is severly limited in the UK due to an unpredictability of climitic conditions in general. The proposed reserach addresses these issues by undertaking the characterisation of physiological and metabolic responses of livestock to elevated thermal loads under commercial conditions in a temperate climate.

The proposal brings together expertise, facilities and resources from Silsoe Research Institute, Roslin Institute and the University of Zaragosa in Spain.

The biological measurements and comprehensive welfare assessment will be correlated with complete characterisation of the thermal environment and ventilation regieme as well as animal behaviour and physiologival indicies of stress. The findings will complement the outputs of the existing commissioned research projects and contracts AW0808 and AW0922 (Silsoe) and AW0809 (Roslin).
Objective
Current physiological and mathematical models of the responses of livestock to transportation have been developed and are being considered in the formation of strategies for improvements in the wflare of animals in transit through legislation, codes of practice and engineering solutions. The validation of such models under practical field conditions is severely limited in the UK due to an absence of the extremes of thrermal loads encountered elsewhere in Europe and the unpredictability of climatic conditions in general. The proposed research addresses these issues by undertaking the characterisation of physiological and metabolic responses of livestock to elevated thermal loads under commercial conditions in a temperate climate.
The proposal brings together expertise, facilities and resources from Silsoe Reearch Institute, Roslin Institute and the University of Zaragosa in Spain.
The biological measurements and comprehensive welfare assessment will be correlated with complete characterisation of the thermal environment and ventilation regime as well as animal behaviour and physiological indices of stress. The findings will complement the outputs of the existing commissioned research projects AW0808 (Silsoe) and AW0809 (Roslin).

The objectives of this research are:
1. To quanitify the heat moisture production of calves, sheep and pigs during transport journeys lasting up to 8 hours in hot weather.
2. To quanitify the physiologcial and behavioural responses of the animals to these journeys (and during recovery).
3. To compare the efficacy of current practice (passive ventilation) with proposed furture practice (mechanical ventilation) in accordance with trends in European legislation, under high thermal loads (ambient temperatures >25 degrees celcius).
Project Documents
• Final Report : CSG15   (49k)
• Final Report - Annex : Final Report - Text   (145k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2003

To: 2005

Cost: £470,372
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Silsoe Research Institute (BBSRC)
Keywords
Animal Welfare              
Livestock              
Plants and Animals              
Transport              
Fields of Study
Animal Welfare