Cleaning Ease and Animal Welfare Implications of Trailer Design
The aim of this initial study was to develop an inventory list of trailers commonly used for the transportation of market hogs in Canada. Hog transport companies in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario were visited in order to document various trailer features specifically those influencing ease of cleaning and animal handling characteristics. Each trailer design was ranked according to cleaning ease, animal handling and welfare characteristics. In addition to a trailer inventory, a questionnaire was developed and transport companies were interviewed to gain further insight into trailer design and usage.
Pot belly trailers remain the most commonly used trailer design in Canada. These trailers are highly versatile, have high load capacity and are relatively low weight. However, these trailers are also the most difficult to clean and have poorest animal handling characteristics. Alternative designs are available which are easier to clean and allow better ease of handling for animals, but these designs are less versatile, have reduced load capacity and/or are significantly heavier.