Current European animal transportation law contains only a few and vague indications concerning how to move lambs of less than 26 kg. Moreover, little information is available in the literature about factors affecting these lambs’ welfare. We investigated the effect of space allowance and ambient temperature on the welfare of unweaned Lacaune lambs during a simulation of long-distance transportation (19 h). Three groups of lambs (N = 130) were housed in equally sized pens for 19 h, Control (C; n = 39; 0.27 m2 per head), Low Space Allowance (LSA; n = 52; 0.20 m2 per head), and Heat Stress (HS; n = 39; 0.27 m2 per head) groups. LSA lambs had lower space allowance than C but were tested at the same temperature, within their Thermoneutral zone (range = 12–18◦ C). The HS lambs were, instead, subjected to higher temperatures (range = 19–30◦ C). Scan sampling of behavior was conducted, eye temperature and body weight were also recorded. LSA and HS lambs showed more discomfort behaviors (p < 0.05) and higher eye temperatures (p < 0.001) compared to C lambs, while HS lambs additionally showed a decrease in body weight over the experimental period (p < 0.001). This study indicates that lower space allowances and higher temperatures impact negatively the welfare of lambs transported for slaughter suggesting that the regulation should be implemented taking these factors into account.

Effects of reduced space allowance and heat stress on behavior and eye temperature in unweaned lambs: A pilot study

Menchetti L.;Costa L. N.;Zappaterra M.
;
Padalino B.
2021

Abstract

Current European animal transportation law contains only a few and vague indications concerning how to move lambs of less than 26 kg. Moreover, little information is available in the literature about factors affecting these lambs’ welfare. We investigated the effect of space allowance and ambient temperature on the welfare of unweaned Lacaune lambs during a simulation of long-distance transportation (19 h). Three groups of lambs (N = 130) were housed in equally sized pens for 19 h, Control (C; n = 39; 0.27 m2 per head), Low Space Allowance (LSA; n = 52; 0.20 m2 per head), and Heat Stress (HS; n = 39; 0.27 m2 per head) groups. LSA lambs had lower space allowance than C but were tested at the same temperature, within their Thermoneutral zone (range = 12–18◦ C). The HS lambs were, instead, subjected to higher temperatures (range = 19–30◦ C). Scan sampling of behavior was conducted, eye temperature and body weight were also recorded. LSA and HS lambs showed more discomfort behaviors (p < 0.05) and higher eye temperatures (p < 0.001) compared to C lambs, while HS lambs additionally showed a decrease in body weight over the experimental period (p < 0.001). This study indicates that lower space allowances and higher temperatures impact negatively the welfare of lambs transported for slaughter suggesting that the regulation should be implemented taking these factors into account.
Menchetti L.; Costa L.N.; Zappaterra M.; Padalino B.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/867572
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