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

Goal 3. Biomarkers

Identify and validate biomarkers of welfare state in growing swine

Biomarkers are objective, quantifiable characteristics of biological processes. Identifying biomarkers that could measure chronic states of stress and long-term positive emotional well-being in animals has the potential to provide information on how certain husbandry systems or management practices influence the longer-term welfare of swine. The measurement of stress-related hormones such as cortisol and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) in swine hair offers a promising new tool for the measurement of chronic stress and long-term welfare, whereas other approaches such as the monitoring of consumption behaviours could offer a measure for real-time monitoring of swine welfare.

Importance of the work

Having quantifiable and reliable tools available to support the objective measurement of animal welfare is important to employ new tools for industry and production practice. Improved monitoring of animal welfare provides data to support the constructive debate on animal welfare advancement between different stakeholder groups, as well as collecting data for verification of animal welfare standards for animal care programs.

Research Projects
Selected Publications