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Transportation

The Canadian Livestock Transport (CLT) Certification Program is a comprehensive training course and support service for livestock truckers, shippers and receivers. Most of you have completed the program, but for new employees, this is a standardized course offering certification that is recognized throughout Canada and the United States.

The program is led by an industry initiative to ensure accountability and proper handling practices in livestock transport. Increasing numbers of processing facilities across North America are demanding proof of competence/certification in livestock and poultry hauling, and the CLT program addresses this demand.

Click here for a link to the program.


Pig Transport in Difficult Weather Conditions

Canadian weather can experience extremes at both ends of the scale. Here's how to ensure the safety and comfort of your animals all year round:

Cold Weather Transport

Now that fall is upon us, Alberta Pork is reminding producers that precautions must be taken when transporting your animals in the winter months.

Pigs have little natural protection from the cold and suffer frostbite quickly, so it is vital to observe weather conditions and adjust ventilation accordingly. Too much cold air can cause frostbite, while insufficient airflow in the box may result in suffocation.

Line the sides and floors of metal vehicle boxes with wooden liners and provide plenty of bedding.  Unprotected skin touching bare metal freezes rapidly.
If the temperature is below 10°C, use plenty of straw as it is a good insulator for keeping pigs warm and dry. A small amount of shavings or sand on the bed of the vehicle improves footing. Remove wet bedding immediately after each delivery to prevent it from freezing in place.

Also, remember to protect pigs from freezing rain. Moisture entering the sides of the truck causes the pigs to lose body heat, resulting in hypothermia and death, even at temperatures above freezing.

Should you experience a breakdown or accident, or be delayed by bad weather, have an emergency plan.  Take whatever actions are necessary to ensure the well-being of your pigs.
 

Hot Weather Transport

To help you protect your animals and your business, here are some numbers you can count on:

15 °C (60 °F)

Above this, market weight pigs should be bedded with wet shavings with complete ventilation for the truck/trailer.
 

25 °C (80 °F)

At this point, pigs can easily overheat. Wet them down before loading and reduce stocking density by 20%. Schedule loading and unloading during cooler hours and provide shade throughout the process. While shade won’t lower the air temperature, it will negate the added effect of radiant heat produced by direct sunlight.

30°C (85 °F)

These temperatures place considerable stress on your pigs. Wetting the pigs and bedding may actually harm the animals rather than help them, and even gentle handling can drive their core temperatures to dangerously high levels. It’s critical to take a multi-pronged approach at this point, including fans, misters, drinkers and shade. It’s also essential that you restrict activity to the cooler periods of the day and minimize the pigs’ time on the truck.

40°C (104 °F)

Sure it’s a rarity in Alberta, but you must also be mindful of the conditions at your final destination. Once the external temperature is higher than the pig’s normal core temperature (38.5 °C – 39.4°C depending on size and age), no pigs should be shipped. 

These are general guidelines, but it’s crucial to keep a close eye on your animals over the summer and err on the side of caution when it comes to hot weather transport. 

For more information, contact Javier Bahamon, Animal Care and Quality Assurance Coordinator, at 1-877-247-7675 (PORK) or by email at Javier.bahamon@albertapork.com.