Responses of pigs to social and non-social challenges in the abattoir


Conditions at die abattoir are such that pigs are exposed to social stress (mixing with unfamiliar pigs) and non-social stress (rough handling). Individual differences in behavioural responses to stress in pigs have been well documented (Hessing et al., 1994; Jensen, 1994; Mendl et al., 1992) and can result in considerable variation in their ability to cope. In this experiment, we studied whether individual differences in behaviour and physiology in home pen conditions are related to subsequent reactions during periods of transport, driving and mixing.