Pre-harvest handling defects in pigs are defined as defects that occur either during transportation or during the lairage rest period prior to harvest at the processing facility. These defects include pigs that become injured, stressed/fatigued, or die. Furthermore, defects have economical implications, with higher labor costs in the packing facilities and lost revenue for producers, and of course, animal welfare concerns by the entire swine industry. It has been estimated that dead and non-ambulatory pigs cost the US swine industry between $50 and $100 million each year (Ellis et al., 2003). These defects are a result of multiple stressors that are imposed upon the animals during the marketing process in an additive manner (Ritter et al., 2010). This paper will detail some commercial studies that were conducted to determine the factors that influence pre-harvest handling defects so that measures to alleviate the pre-harvest handling defects could be developed and implemented.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/anna_butters-johnson/313/