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Resting time of pigs at the processing plant: impact on body weight losses and stomach characteristics

Pre-slaughter events might result in qualitative and quantitative losses on pig carcasses in inadequate management conditions. This study was aimed at evaluating the resting time at the processing plant (PDF= 3, 5, 7, and 9 hours) and the pen position in the lorry's livestock compartment (PBO) on body weight loss (PPC), weight of stomach (full= PEC and empty= PEV), weight of stomach contents (PCE) and stomach lesion score (ELG) related to gastric ulcer. For this study, 192 females with average body weight of 130.0±9.9kg were used. The following effects were considered in the statistical analysis: block (season of the year), PDF, PBO and the interaction between block and PDF. There was no significant effect of PDF on the evaluated variables. For PBO, a significant effect was observed on body weight loss, with pigs transported in the frontal pens losing more body weight than those transported in middle and back pens. Eleven percent of the animals showed ELG characterizing gastric ulcer, while a high percentage of the pigs (41.9%) showed ELG grade 1, which characterizes paracheratosis. It is concluded that pigs transported in the frontal pens of the lorry's livestock compartment do have higher body weight losses, and that increasing the resting time at the processing plant from 3 to 9 hours does not impact body weight losses or the incidence of gastric ulcer.

pigs; pre-slaughter events; transport; resting time; body weight; gastric ulcer

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