Share This Article:

Effect of Transport Time of up to 12 Hours on Welfare of Cows and Bulls

Abstract Full-Text HTML XML Download Download as PDF (Size:885KB) PP. 161-182
DOI: 10.4236/jssm.2015.82019    2,484 Downloads   2,981 Views   Citations


The aim of the study was to investigate the effects of transport time up to 12 h on welfare of bulls and cows. Cattle transport vehicle was used for the experiment. Sensors to measure temperature, relative humidity and video camera to monitor behaviour were mounted in observation pen. Eighteen measurements were performed during summer and winter for 4, 8, and 12 h transport time with three replications. To determine cortisol, glucose, lactate, and creatine kinase concentrations, blood samples were collected before and after transport from 80 bulls, 82 cows and 20 control animals. Cortisol concentration was generally inversely proportional to transport time (P < 0.001). Glucose concentration for cows was the highest at 12 h and the lowest at 8 h and for bulls it increased with transport time (P < 0.002). Lactate level generally correlated with transport time (P < 0.001), but for bulls the highest and the lowest were at 8 and 4 h in winter. Creatine kinase concentration positively correlated with transport time for bulls and cows but at different rates. Loss of balance and swaying strongly correlated with transport time (P < 0.002). Based on behaviour, stress hormones and pH values, an increase from 4 to 8 h had a higher effect than from 8 to 12 h transport time on welfare and subsequent meat quality.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Bulitta, F. , Aradom, S. and Gebresenbet, G. (2015) Effect of Transport Time of up to 12 Hours on Welfare of Cows and Bulls. Journal of Service Science and Management, 8, 161-182. doi: 10.4236/jssm.2015.82019.


[1] Gebresenbet, G. and Eriksson, B. (1998) Effects of Transport and Handling on Animal Welfare, Meat Quality and Environment with Special Emphasis on Tied Cows. Department of Agricultural Engineering, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Report 233.
[2] McKenna, D.R., Roeber, D.L., Bates, P.K., Schmidt, T.B., Hale, D.S., Griffin, D.B., et al. (2002) National Beef Quality Audit—2000: Survey of Targeted Cattle and Carcass Characteristics Related to Quality, Quantity and Value of Fed Steers and Heifers. Journal of Animal Science, 80, 1212-1222.
[3] Dantzler, R. (1982) Research on Farm Animal Transport in France: A Survey. In: Transport of Animals Intended for Breeding, Production and Slaughter, Martinus Nijhoff, Hague, 218-231.
[4] Siegel, P.B. and Gross, W.B. (2000) General Principles of Stress and Well-Being. CABI Publishing, Wallingford, UK.
[5] Gross, W.B. and Siegel, P.B. (1993) General Principle of Stress and Welfare. CAB International, Wallingford, UK.
[6] Kaneko, J.J. (1997) Carbohydrate Metabolism and Its Diseases. Academic Press, California.
[7] Dawkin, M.S. (2004) Using Behaviour to Assess Animal Welfare. Animal Welfare, 13, S3-S7.
[8] Grandin, T. (1980) Observations of Cattle Behavior Applied to the Design of Cattle Handling Facilities. Applied Animal Ethology, 6, 19-31.
[9] Grandin, T. (1982) Pig Behavior Studies Applied to Slaughter Plant Design. Applied Animal Ethology, 9, 141-151.
[10] Grandin, T. (1989) Behavioral Principles of Livestock Handling. Professional Animal Scientist, 5, 1-11.
[11] Maria, G., Villaroel, M., Chacón, G. and Gebresenbet, G. (2003) Scoring System for Evaluating the Stress to Cattle of Commercial Loading and Unloading. Veterinary Record, 154, 818-821.
[12] Grandin, T. (2007) Handling and Welfare of Livestock in Slaughter. CAB International, Wallingford, UK.
[13] Tarrant, P.V. and Grandin, T. (2000) Cattle Transport. CABI Publishing, Wallingford, UK.
[14] Kannan, G., Chawan, C.B., Kouakou, B. and Gelaye, S. (2002) Influence of Packaging Method and Storage Time on Shear Value and Mechanical Strength of Intramuscular Connective Tissue of Chevon. Journal of Animal Science, 80, 2383-2389.
[15] Mounier, L., Dubroeucq, H., Andanson, S. and Veissier, I. (2006) Variations in Meat pH of Beef Bulls in Relation to Conditions of Transfer to Slaughter and Previous History of the Animals. Journal of Animal Science, 84, 1567-1576.
[16] Hall, S.J.G. and Bradshaw, R.H. (1998) Welfare Aspects of the Transport by Road of Sheep and Pigs. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, 1, 235-254.
[17] Knowles, T.G. (1998) A Review of the Road Transport of Slaughter Sheep. Veterinary Record, 143, 212-219.
[18] Wikner, I., Gebresenbet, G. and Nilsson, C. (2003) Assessment of Air Quality in Commercial Cattle Transport Vehicle in Swedish Summer and Winter Conditions. German Veterinary Journal, 110, 100-104.
[19] Jones, S.D.M., Schaefer, A.L., Robertson, W.M. and Vincent, B.C. (1990) The Effects of Withholding Feed and Water on Carcass Shrinkage and Meat Quality in Beef Cattle. Meat Science, 28, 131-139.
[20] Schwartzkopf-Genswein, K.S., Booth, M.E., McAllister, T.A., Mears, G.J., Schaefer, A.L., Cook, N.J., et al. (2006) Effects of Pre-Haul Management and Transport Distance on Beef Cattle Performance and Welfare. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 108, 12-30.
[21] Zavy, M.T., Juniewicz, P.W., Phillips, W.A. and VonTungeln, D.L. (1992) Effect of Initial Restraint, Weaning, and Transport Stress on Baseline and ACTH-Stimulated Cortisol Responses in Beef Calves. American Journal of Veterinary Research, 53, 551-557.
[22] EU, the European Parliament and of the Council Regulation No. (1/2005) on the Protection of Animals during Transport and Related Operations and Amending Directives 64/432/EEC and 93/119/EC and Regulation (EC) No. 1255/97. Official Journal of the European Union, 2005, L 003.
[23] Ferguson, D.M. and Warner, R.D. (2008) Have We Underestimated the Impact of Pre-Slaughter Stress on Meat Quality in Ruminants? Meat Science, 80, 12-19.
[24] Aradom, S., Gebresenbet, G., Bulitta, F.S., Bobobee, E.Y. and Adam, A. (2012) Effect of Transport Times on Welfare of Pigs. Journal of Agricultural Science and Technology A, 2, 544-562.
[25] Cargolog FAT 90 V2 Manual. Mobitron AB, Huskvarna, 2009.
[26] Bohmanova, J.J., Misztal, I. and Cole, J.B. (2007) Temperature-Humidity Indices as Indicators of Milk Production Losses Due to Heat Stress. Journal of Dairy Science, 90, 1947-1956.
[27] Thom, E.C. (1959) The Discomfort Index. Weatherwise, 12, 57-61.
[28] Mader, T.L., Davis, M.S. and Brown-Brandl, T. (2006) Environmental Factors Influencing Heat Stress in Feedlot Cattle. Journal of Animal Science, 84, 712-719.
[29] Stole Flores, A.P., Linares, C.P., Saaveda, F.F., Serrano, A.B. and Lopez, E.S. (2008) Evaluation of Changes in Management Practices on Frequency of DFD Meat in Cattle. Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances, 7, 319-321.
[30] Nguyen, N.H., McPhee, C.P. and Trout, G.R. (2006) Response in Carcass Lean pH at 24 Hours Post-Mortem in Lines of Large White Pigs Selected for Growth Rate on a Fixed Ration over a Set Time. Livestock Science, 100, 84-90.
[31] Warriss, P.D. (2000) Post Mortem Changes in Muscle and Its Conversion into Meat. CAB Publishing, Wallingford, UK.
[32] Lay, D.C., Friend, T.H., Randel, R.D., Jenkins, O.C., Neuendorff, D.A., Kapp, G.M., et al. (1996) Adrenocorticotropic Hormone Dose Response and Some Physiological Effects of Transportation on Pregnant Brahman Cattle. Journal of Animal Science, 74, 1806-1811.
[33] Warriss, P.D., Brown, S.N., Knowles, T.G., Kestin, S.C., Edwards, J.E., Dolan, S.K. and Phillips, A.J. (1995) Effects on Cattle of Transport by Road for Up to Fifteen Hours. Veterinary Record, 136, 319-323.
[34] Grandin, T. (1997) Assessment of Stress during Handling and Transport. Journal of Animal Science, 75, 249-257.
[35] Knowles, G. (1999) A Review of the Road Transport of Cattle. Veterinary Record, 144, 197-201.
[36] Lay, D.C., Friend, T.H., Randel, R., Bowers, C.L., Grissom, K.K. and Jenkins, O.C. (1992) Behavioral and Physiological Effects of Freeze and Hot Iron Branding on Crossbred Cattle. Journal of Animal Science, 70, 330-336.
[37] Lay, D.C., Friend, T.H., Bowers, C.L., Grissom, K.K. and Jenkins, O.C. (1992) A Comparative Physiological and Behavioral Study of Freeze and Hot Iron Branding Using Dairy Cows. Journal of Animal Science, 70, 1121-1125.
[38] Cole, N., Camp, T.H., Rowe, L.D., Steven, D.G. and Hutcheson, D.P. (1988) Effect of Transport on Feeder Calves. American Journal of Veterinary Research, 49, 178-183.
[39] Stull, C.L. and Rodiek, A.V. (2000) Physiological Responses of Horses to 24 Hours of Transportation Using a Commercial Van during Summer Conditions. Journal of Animal Science, 78, 1458-1466.
[40] Doornenbal, H., Tong, A.K. and Murray, N.L. (1988) Reference Values of Blood Parameters in Beef Cattle of Different Ages and Stages of Lactation. Canadian Journal of Veterinary Research, 52, 99-105.
[41] Mitchell, G., Hattingh, J. and Ganhao, M. (1998) Stress in Cattle Assessed after Handling, after Transport and after Slaughter. Veterinary Record, 123, 201-205.
[42] Ekesbo, I. (2011) Farm Animal Behaviour: Characteristics for Assessment of Health and Welfare. CABI Publishing, Wallingford, UK.
[43] Færevik, G., Jensen, M.B. and Bøe, K.E. (2006) Dairy Calves Social Preferences and the Significance of a Companion Animal during Separation from the Group. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 99, 205-221.
[44] Tarrant, P.V. (1990) Transportation of Cattle by Road. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 28, 153-170.
[45] EC, Scientific Committee on Animal Welfare (1999) Standards for Microclimate Inside Animal Transport Road Vehicles.
[46] European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) (2004) Opinion of the Scientific Panel on Animal Health and Welfare on a Request from the Commission Related to the Standards for the Microclimate Inside Animal Road Transport Vehicles. The EFSA Journal, 122, 1-25.

comments powered by Disqus

Copyright © 2018 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.