Effect of transport and rest stop duration on the welfare of conditioned cattle transported by road

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From: PLoS ONE(Vol. 15, Issue 3)
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Document Type: Article
Length: 10,877 words
Lexile Measure: 1560L

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Abstract :

The effects of providing rest on physiological and behavioural indicators of welfare of cattle being transported by road has not been well studied in North America. New revisions to Canada's Health of Animals Regulations Part XII: Transportation of Animals indicate un-weaned and weaned calves can be transported a maximum of 12 and 36 h, respectively, before an 8 h rest is required. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess the effects of rest duration, after 12 and 36 h of transport, on physiological and behavioural indicators of welfare in 7-8 mo-old beef calves. Three hundred and twenty conditioned calves (258 ± 23.9 kg BW) were randomly assigned to a 2 x 4 factorial design where the main factors included transport duration: 12 h (12; n = 160) and 36 h (36; n = 160) and rest stop duration: 0 h (R0; n = 80), 4 h (R4; n = 80), 8 h (R8; n = 80) and 12 h (R12; n = 80). After the resting period, animals were transported for an additional 4 h. Blood and hair samples were taken from 12 animals per treatment prior to and after the first and the 4 h transport; and then 7 h, 2 d and 28 d after the 4 h transport. The concentrations of haptoglobin, creatine kinase, non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA), lactate, and serum and hair cortisol were determined. Standing and lying behaviour was assessed for 14 d after transport, while feeding behaviour of calves in one pen per treatment were assessed for 28 d after transportation using an electronic feed bunk monitoring system. Body weight (BW), average daily gain (ADG) and shrink (%) was assessed for all calves. The data was modeled using generalized linear mixed methods (SAS PROC GLIMMIX), where transport and time (nested in rest) were considered fixed effects and animal and pen were considered random effects. Statistically significant (p

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A616007208