Travel sickness and welfare of pigs during road transport: effects of mixing and duration of journey


Pigs are usually transported during the course of their life and various behavioural and physiological effects of the transportation process have been reported (e.g. Bradshaw et al., 1995)., Most research has been directed to examining the effects of the physical environment (e.g. Randall, 1993), simple behavioural time budgets (e.g. Bradshaw et al., 1995) and levels of 'stress' hormones in the blood before and after a journey (e.g. Geers et al., 1994). Two situations are described in this paper. The first investigated behavioural and salivary Cortisol responses of pigs to road transport when loaded in small familiar social groups or when loaded and mixed with other unfamiliar pigs. The second used catheterised animals to examine the hormonal response (Cortisol, beta-endorphin and lysine vasopressin) of pigs sampled during a long distance (8 h) road journey.