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Study Looks At Transporting Hogs

Researchers at a university in Kansas are gathering data on how to make pigs more comfortable during transportation.

The research is be led by the associate professor of animal science, John Gonzalez, at Kansas State University.

It’s estimated 120 million pigs are transported in the U.S. each year and previous research has identified fatigue as the cause of loss of about 360,000 pigs per year.

Fatigue is belived to be caused by the constant shaking the animals endure during transportation.

In dollars, that’s $61 million U.S. for the pork industry.

The researchers plan to follow trucks around Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma to measure the vibration in the trailers and the resulting stress it may cause the animals.

The intent is to develop strategies for loading the pigs so those that might be more fatigued are not placed where the vibration is strongest.

Once information is colloected, the research team wants to design and build a live simulator to test the effects of transportation and vibration in a controlled university setting and that could lead to reasearch for other animal species.