Transport procedures (loading, travel and unloading) are known to be stressful for animals, consequently having both short term and prolonged effect on animal welfare. In particular, loading is considered to be one of the most stressful components of transport. To reduce transport-related stress, habituation could play a crucial role decreasing behavioural reactions to a previously novel situation. Donkeys kept for meat production are generally transported to the slaughterhouse without any training. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of habituation to transport procedures on stress related behaviours during loading in meat donkeys. Fourteen Romagnolo donkeys (M=10; F=4;1.2±0.4 years) were included in the study and randomly divided in two groups: Control (C; n=7) and Habituation (H;n=7). Foalsin the H group were gradually habituated to be transported forshort distances(from one pasture to another), travelling together with adult habituated donkeys. Short transports were conducted once a month to maintain their memory until the transport to the slaughterhouse.All donkeys were used to human contact. Donkeys were transported to the slaughterhouse in five different days, using the same truck, in small groups (two to four donkeys per transport). The loading phase was video-recorded; time for loading and donkey behaviour were analysed using Solomon Coder, applying a focal animal continuous recording method. Loading time was significantly shorter for H donkeys (mean 7.97±4.62 sec) than C donkeys (mean 83.23±143.84 sec) (Mann-Whitney test; P=0.004), and H donkeys showed more forward locomotion toward the truck than C donkeys (Mann-Whitney test; P=0.026). C donkeys showed significantly more stress-related behaviours such as turning back, moving backwards, refusing to proceed and rearing (Mann-Whitney test; P=0.026), and required a higher number of human intervention to load (H: mean 1.29±0.55; mean C: 5.43±10.11). These results, although preliminary, suggest that habituation to transport could reduce stress during loading in meat donkeys, reducing time needed and decreasing the need of human intervention for loading.

How training can reduce stress in loading procedure in meat donkeys? / F. Dai, E. Dalla Costa, E.U.L. Heinzl, S. Cannas, M. Minero. ((Intervento presentato al 71. convegno Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science tenutosi a Virtual nel 2020.

How training can reduce stress in loading procedure in meat donkeys?

F. Dai
;
E. Dalla Costa;E.U.L. Heinzl;S. Cannas;M. Minero
2020-12-03

Abstract

Transport procedures (loading, travel and unloading) are known to be stressful for animals, consequently having both short term and prolonged effect on animal welfare. In particular, loading is considered to be one of the most stressful components of transport. To reduce transport-related stress, habituation could play a crucial role decreasing behavioural reactions to a previously novel situation. Donkeys kept for meat production are generally transported to the slaughterhouse without any training. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of habituation to transport procedures on stress related behaviours during loading in meat donkeys. Fourteen Romagnolo donkeys (M=10; F=4;1.2±0.4 years) were included in the study and randomly divided in two groups: Control (C; n=7) and Habituation (H;n=7). Foalsin the H group were gradually habituated to be transported forshort distances(from one pasture to another), travelling together with adult habituated donkeys. Short transports were conducted once a month to maintain their memory until the transport to the slaughterhouse.All donkeys were used to human contact. Donkeys were transported to the slaughterhouse in five different days, using the same truck, in small groups (two to four donkeys per transport). The loading phase was video-recorded; time for loading and donkey behaviour were analysed using Solomon Coder, applying a focal animal continuous recording method. Loading time was significantly shorter for H donkeys (mean 7.97±4.62 sec) than C donkeys (mean 83.23±143.84 sec) (Mann-Whitney test; P=0.004), and H donkeys showed more forward locomotion toward the truck than C donkeys (Mann-Whitney test; P=0.026). C donkeys showed significantly more stress-related behaviours such as turning back, moving backwards, refusing to proceed and rearing (Mann-Whitney test; P=0.026), and required a higher number of human intervention to load (H: mean 1.29±0.55; mean C: 5.43±10.11). These results, although preliminary, suggest that habituation to transport could reduce stress during loading in meat donkeys, reducing time needed and decreasing the need of human intervention for loading.
Settore AGR/19 - Zootecnica Speciale
How training can reduce stress in loading procedure in meat donkeys? / F. Dai, E. Dalla Costa, E.U.L. Heinzl, S. Cannas, M. Minero. ((Intervento presentato al 71. convegno Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science tenutosi a Virtual nel 2020.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/796616
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