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 4. Carcass Welfare Indicators

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

A carcass can tell a story of what has happened in the pig’s life. Things like tail biting or lesions due to aggression are animal-based indicators of welfare that can be seen on the carcass.  The monitoring of animal-based indicators of welfare on carcasses provides a cost-effective and standardized method to assess the welfare of animals from a large variety of systems. Understanding the links between welfare measures taken on farms and those identified at slaughter is necessary to determine whether carcass-based measures of welfare at slaughter can be of use for a welfare assessment scheme that can complement on-farm animal care evaluations already in place. If such a welfare assessment works well, then it must be automated for use in abattoirs. As part of this research goal, a collaboration with a computer engineering team will investigate automating this welfare assessment.

Importance of the work

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 can be used by industry to 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.

Research Projects
Selected Publications