ENVIRONMENTAL CHARACTERIZATION FOR A SWINE TRANSPORT ASSESSMENT
Dana Anderson1, Angela Green2, Sandra Rodriguez-Zas2.
1Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago, IL, 2University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL.
Transportation of animals has potential impacts on the humane treatment of animals and the safety of both the animals and the people involved. This study will review outdoor weather conditions and ASHRAE annual records to determine if there are correlations among the various data sets and aspects. The swine industry recognizes that problems occur during transport that result in dead or down pigs and supports research focused on trailer management to improve challenging environmental conditions. A year-long monitoring study was completed for assessing the thermal environment during pig transportation over a wide range of outdoor weather conditions. During this study, the trailer was managed according to industry practices (Transport Quality Assurance Program of the National Pork Checkoff). A weather data set of hourly outdoor temperatures that correspond to the geographical trailer location was generated using the GPS coordinates and the data from the nearest local National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather station. Indoor environment and outdoor weather data was summarized into an overall distribution to represent the outdoor conditions and indoor conditions over the complete study. This distribution will be compared to geographical distributions within the United States, based on ASHRAE records, to represent applicability. Additionally, correlations were assessed between the inside and outside environmental data to identify trends, specifically floor temperature, skin temperature, and overall temperature during extreme hot and cold conditions. Results of this study have the potential to identify management areas for reducing the number of dead or down pigs. Analysis is ongoing and complete results will be presented.