Internal transport to abattoirs and stalling

When the pigs leave the pig house, are transported to the abattoir on lorries and arrive at the abattoir, a number of factors are crucial for the animal welfare and ultimately the meat quality. Emphasis is therefore placed on avoiding that the pigs become stressed during the transport and at the delivery and this is ensured e.g. by stalling the pigs in groups.

In Denmark, the pigs are therefore checked by a veterinarian as soon as they arrive at the abattoir. The pigs are then placed in pens for approx. one hour before being slaughtered. If possible, the pigs are kept in the original groups in which they were delivered. They have of course access to drinking water and if the weather is warm, they will have access to showers.

Suitable delivery, transport and stalling of slaughter pigs will result in:

  • Few injuries
  • Good animal welfare
  • Minimum risk of dissemination of disease (livestock diseases, salmonella etc.)
  • Best possible meat quality thanks to calm animals
  • High trackability

In order to achieve a gentle and flexible transport to the abattoirs, the Danish transport vehicles have good loading facilities, skid-proof floors and mechanical ventilation.

For transport, the following guidelines apply:

  • Recommendation for only 15-20 pigs in each room in the vehicle
  • Overloading of the transport vehicle must not take place
  • The transport must take place in a safe way and without unnecessary stops
  • Local agreement at delivery is followed (populations with high disease prevention is visited before populations with lower disease prevention)
  • At driving of pigs, driving plates are used and the use of electrical drive remedies is forbidden
  • All vehicles must be cleaned before leaving the abattoir

Each transport is accompanied by a transport note with registration of:

  • Pick-up place and date
  • Transport times (departure and arrival)
  • Number of pigs transported
  • Number of pigs allowed on the transport
  • The population of origin for the animals
  • Destination
  • Registration number for vehicle and trailer
  • Driver/carrier
  • Time of unloading

At the arrival at the abattoir, the transport note is stamped and sent to the official veterinary inspection.

Delivery in groups
The structural development in the Danish pig industry implies that more and more pig producers are so big that they can delivery entire vehicle loads of slaughter pigs to the abattoir without having to mark each pig. The trackability back to the population from where the pig originates is instead ensured through so-called batch-based identification.

Delivery in groups is still only used to a limited extent but is expected to increase in future.

Control and stalling
After the live examination by the veterinary inspection, the pigs are driven into pens where they are to stay for approx. half an hour before being slaughtered. If possible, the pigs are kept in the original groups in which they arrived during stalling. The pens are ventilated and the pigs have access to drinking water and if the weather is warm, they are given a shower. This ensures both animal welfare and the meat quality.