NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Swine Welfare
NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Swine Welfare
(306) 966-7151
WCVM, UofS, 52 Campus Dr., Saskatoon, SK

Carcass-based indicators of welfare: Linking abattoir data to live animal measures

Research Team:

  • Post-doctoral Fellow: Martyna Lagoda; Giuliana Miguel-Pacheco (previous)
  • Research Technician: Kyle Moak
  • Research Assistant: Yuanyue Wang
  • Supervisor: Dr. Yolande Seddon
  • Project Members: Dr Luiene Moura Rocha, CDPQ; Luigi Faucitano, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada; Prof Seok-Bum Ko and Juan Yepez-Rodriguez, University of Saskatchewan.

Funding Agency:

Project Timeline

August 2021 to December 2023


The monitoring of animal-based indicators of welfare on carcasses provides a cost-effective and standardized method to assess welfare of animals from a large variety of systems. As such, it is an appropriate method for a continuous welfare surveillance system. Such data can also be integrated with existing meat quality and carcass condemnation data to understand the economic impacts of animal welfare on product loss. However, for this to be considered as a tool, the ability of measurements taken from carcasses to accurately inform on the welfare of animals on farm and in lairage needs to be determined. The system would also need to be automated for use in commercial abattoirs.

Project Objectives:

  • To identify the relationship between animal-based indicators of welfare measured on carcasses post-mortem to animal and resource-based indicators of welfare on-farm, during loading and unloading, and lairage.
  • To determine the economic loss attributed to animal welfare lesions on carcasses.
  • To determine if the evaluation of carcasses for animal-based indicators of welfare can be automated with the use of AI.

Value of this research:

The data will identify if relationships exist between on-farm measures of welfare on live pigs and resource-based measures (housing), and measures of animal welfare collected from swine carcasses. This data will determine the value of performing a welfare assessment after slaughter. This work will also determine the ability to automate a carcass welfare assessment system for use in abattoirs.

What we discovered:

Check back soon for research results.