Read this article in:

The importance of transport to the slaughterhouse, the last kilometer

Loading pigs is a task that, unfortunately, we give little importance to. We don’t usually realize that loosing something at this point is tantamount to losing a year’s worth of work, and worse yet is the economic loss.

Thursday 29 September 2011 (7 years 2 months 18 days ago)
Like

1. What can we lose in transport?

Loading pigs is a task that, unfortunately, we give little importance to. We don’t usually realize that loosing something at this point is tantamount to losing a year’s worth of work, and worse yet is the economic loss.

In this article we will take a look at everything we can loose with a bad transport experience.

Camión transporte cerdos en USA

1.1. Loss of the pig (death)
The death of an animal is the most extreme loss. This happens when the pig is confronted with a stressful situation it cannot adapt to and suffers a circulatory system collapse.

1.2. Losses in carcass
These will be due to partial or complete seizure of the carcass. Normally seizures are due to scratches on the skin, bruises, or deeper wounds.

One might think that this is of little importance since the skin is of little vale, but this is not case. We can lose the price of its weight (approximately 4 kilograms), but also, according to the final destination of the piece, the skin is of more value since it takes value away from the piece as a whole. The clearest example would be ham.

When lesions are serious, like bruises, wounds, etc. it is possible that the whole carcass will be seized.

1.3. Losses in meat
If we have meat that is in bad condition we will have to make more effort technologically in order to get value out of it or, in the worse case, we won’t be able to use it at all.

Stress factors during loading and transport can end in muscular acidification and, if it persists, can even lead to death (Ritter, 2009). This acidity is what results in a pH lower than 5,4 after 24 h. This meat is usually of little use to sell ‘fresh’ since it has lost water, although one can take advantage and find some way to work it into cooked products. This meat is also unusable for cured products.

1.4. The human factor
Although there is a large amount of information on loss of animal parts, there isn’t much information on the human factor and its importance in transport.

1.5. The whole farm (biosecurity)
In the case of a farm suffering the appearance of notifiable disease, where it has to proceed to slaughter all of its animals, we would have to consider the following points in order to evaluate losses:

  1. The cost of slaughtering all livestock.
  2. The cost of maintaining the farm during its emptying.
  3. The cost of beginning production again.
  4. The loss of revenue during the period of inactivity.

In a better scenario, a farm can suffer the appearance of a disease that isn’t notifiable but important economic losses still occur.

2. The economic value of possible losses
In order to evaluate losses in transport we have to keep the whole value chain in mind, starting with losses at production level up to losses of finished products.

The following table shows average loss values per seizure of different pieces at different points in the process. Costs at production level are based on Sip-Consultors database, and to evaluate the price at slaughter and the retail price we have used data from the food monitors, MARM.

Production Slaughter Retail
Seizure of skin: head 0,33 1,6 8
Seizure of skin: belly 0,44 4,875 10,75
Seizure of skin: loin 0,88 19,2 44
Seizure of skin: ham 0,66 18,6 120
Seizure: head 4,4 1,6 8
Seizure: belly 2,75 4,875 10,75
Seizure: loin 8,8 19,2 44
Seizure: ham 11 18,6 120
Seizure: all skin 4,4 15.2 18
Seizure: entire animal 88 208 41

We can see that the possible losses go from a minimum value of 0,33 € at slaughter and up to 416 € at retail.

There are many articles that discuss losses suffered in transport, but all refer to losses in production and not the actual value of loss. In this sense losses oscillate between 0,05 % (Riches, 1996) and 2,39 % (Lewis, 2006).

Considering losses in production it is estimated that in 2006 in the USA 46 million dollars were lost (Ritter, 2009).

Looking at the range of variability, it is interesting to be able to put an average value on these losses, which we put at 0,22 % due to dead animals and 0,44 % for those that don’t sell, a total of 0,66 % (Ritter, 2009).

Country Year % Deaths Reference
Germany 2003
2002
2001
2000
1999
1993
0,10
0,10
0,13
0,15
0,17
0,50
(Werner et al 2007)
(Werner et al 2007)
(Werner et al 2007)
(Werner et al 2007)
(Werner et al 2007)
(Christensen, 1994)
Italy 1993 0,10 (Christensen, 1994)
Holland 1993
1980
1976
1976
1972
1968
1960
0,16
0,21
0,30
0,38
0,52
0,47
0,15
(Christensen, 1994)
(Corstiaensen 1977)
(van Logtestijn 1982)
(van Logtestijn 1982)
(van Logtestijn 1982)
(van Logtestijn 1982)
(van Logtestijn 1982)
Portugal 1993 0,16 (Christensen, 1994)
Spain 1992-1994 0,33
0,15
0,22
(Gonsalvez 2006)
(Palacio 1996)
(Guardia 1996)
UK 1994
1993
1991-1992
1961-1973
0,05
0,09
0,07
0,10
(Ritches 1996)
(Christensen, 1994)
(Warris and Brown)
(Allen 1979)
Belgium 1993 0,30 (Christensen, 1994)
Canada 2004
2004
2003
2003
2001
1996
0,12
0,10
0,07
0,09
0,17
0,14
(Haley, 2001)
(Haley, 2001)
(Sunstrum, 2006)
(Benjamin, 2005)
(Haley, 2001)
(Murray 2000)
Czech Republic 1997-2004 0,11 (Vecerek et al 2006)
Denmark 1998-2002
1996
1993
1984
1978
0,02
0,02
0,03
0,12
0,12
(Barton Gade et al 2007)
(Barton Gade et al 1997)
(Christensen, 1994)
(Barton Gade et al 2007)
(Barton Gade et al 2007)
France 1997
1995
0,07
0,08
(Colleu and Chevillon 1999)
(Colleu and Chevillon 1999)

Ritter, 2009

The variability of results is very high, oscillating based on country and year (0,07 % to 0,5 %).

Losses in transport can be due to multiple causes, among the most important we will highlight are space, pathologies, distance, temperature, season, loading and transport management as well as truck design.

Camión transporte cerdos en China

3. Conclusions

There is a lot of work to carry out in many countries in order to reduce occasional losses in transport.

The results we have seen in this report tell us that currently in areas that work with good trucks and in good conditions, can lose up to 200 € per truck (considering a 2% loss), and this is without taking into account the quality of the carcass and the retail value of these animals, where the value reaches up to 800 € per truck; devastating results.

Articles

Monitoring farrowing (I)10-Oct-2011 7 years 2 months 7 days ago
Thermal control of piglets in the farrowing pen (IV)26-Sep-2011 7 years 2 months 21 days ago

Article Comments

This area is not intended to be a place to consult authors about their articles, but rather a place for open discussion among pig333.com users.
Leave a new Comment

Access restricted to 333 users. In order to post a comment you must be logged in.

Not a registered user of 333?sign upand access swine prices, the search engine, ...
It is fast and free
Are you registered in 333?LOGINIf you've forgotten your password we'll send it to you here

tags