Can Trailer Design Effectively Reduce Disease Transmission?
In response to an industry need for a livestock vehicle that addresses both increased animal welfare and biosecurity during transport, a prototype air-filtered trailer was designed and assembled. The project set out to select the best possible option for a swine transport trailer which reduces or prevents the risk of airborne disease transmission and at the same time address issues commonly encountered on existing trailer designs such as animal welfare, ease of maintenance as well as trucker/worker well-being. An industry questionnaire gathered input on observed strengths and deficiencies of the conventional commercial swine transport trailers and was distributed to a number of stakeholders involved in pig transportation and researchers. Additionally, desired features and preferences for an improved swine transport trailer were gathered and formed the basis for the initial new trailer design. Multiple design configurations were narrowed down using computer simulation with the most promising trailer design being developed as a prototype.