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Studt to investigate the space above the head and shoulders of pigs and cattle when standing during transport - AW0816

Description
Animals should be able to stand in their natural position during transit with space for air circulation; 10 cm above the highest part of cattle and 5cm above pigs and sheep are recommended (1).

In order to better recommend deck heights for animals in transit, the predominant head position and the height of that position must be considered. This measure will allow for recommended deck heights for the species and size of animal studied. However, if one is to recommend headroom for different sizes of animals of that species, then relating required headroom to a fixed point on the body (for example the shoulder) and expressing that value as a percentage of the floor to shoulder height, should allow for deck height calculation for all sizes of that species.

Research with adult sheep in transit (2) found that predominant head position was UP and 30.5 percent of the floor to shoulder height was required for headroom (predominant head position plus 5cm) in transit.

Predominant head position or height of this position of cattle and pigs is not known.

This study therefore proposes to investigate the predominant head position and height of finished cattle and pigs whilst standing during transit, and to relate this to shoulder height. In addition head height will be related to vent slot height and activity in an attempt to assess whether head position is natural or a consequence of other factors (for example air movement or behaviour in transit).

The study is suitable for DEFRA funding as it provides a simple meaningful figure which can easily be incorporated into future codes of practice or guidance booklets for manufacturers and transporters. Additionally, easily measured, tangible figures greatly assist in the enforcement of deck height for the size and species of animal transported.
Objective
01: To investigate the predominant head position and height of cattle whilst standing during transit (1 and 2 deck vehicle).
02: To investigate the predominant head position and height of pigs whilst standing during transit (2 and 3 deck vehicle).
03: To relate the predominant head position with a fixed point on the animal i.e shoulder and to specify headroom requirements for cattle and pigs in cm of deck height, and as a percentage of the floor to shoulder height.
Project Documents
• Final Report : Study to investigate the space above the head and shoulders of pigs and cattle when standing during transport.   (55k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2003

To: 2003

Cost: £28,609
Contractor / Funded Organisations
University - Oxford
Keywords
Animal Welfare              
Livestock              
Plants and Animals              
Transport              
Fields of Study
Animal Welfare