Language selection

Search

Improving hog wellbeing (Video)

A hog that is less stressed results in quality meat. See how Dr. Luigi Faucitano of the Sherbrooke Dairy and Swine Research and Development Centre is working to improve hog wellbeing.

Video Transcript

[An image and a maple leaf appear on screen. This is the title graphic for the video.]

[Light, country music fades in.]

Text on screen: Improving Hog Wellbeing

[The video opens with a shot of a pig farmer placing a small piglet in a pen with its mother.]

[The shot changes to show a close up of the piglet suckling.]

Narrator: Consumers and the public are concerned about animal welfare…

[The shot changes to show older pigs playing with a suspended disk.]

…and Canadian farmers know that the way they treat their animals affects the quality of the food they produce.

[Cut to a shot of the signage outside of the research centre in Sherbrooke, Quebec.]

Dr. Luigi Faucitano, of the Dairy and Swine Research and Development Centre in Sherbrooke…

[The shot changes to show the employees of the centre working inside an area with many pens.]

…has developed several innovative techniques for improving the well-being of animals and the quality of their meat.

[The shot changes to show a mother pig and her young inside a pen. We see several more shots of pigs in pens.]

His work has shown clear and positive links between animal welfare, improved productivity, and the quality of the product.

[The shot changes to show Dr. Faucitano standing in front of a new background. He is talking slightly off camera.]

Text on screen: Dr. Luigi Faucitano, Research Scientist, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Dr. Faucitano: I'm Italian, and I come from a pork-producing region. Parma ham comes from my region.

[The shot changes to show a female chef sautéing pork in a hot pan.]

So I especially love pork.

[The shot changes to show the exterior of a pork farm. We see a large truck in the distance.]

I work on transportation of pigs. In Canada, pigs are generally transported in pot-belly trailers with three decks.

[The shot changes to show a closer view of the pot-belly truck. A graphic appears to indicate the truck.]

Text on screen: "pot-belly" truck

[The shot changes back to Dr. Faucitano.]

There's research underway that is aimed at keeping this type of truck but improving it, by improving the environment inside the truck and making it more comfortable for the animals being transported.

[The shot changes to show a series of shots of young pigs in crowed pens. They run and scamper away from the camera.]

They experience all kinds of stress, such as interaction with humans, changes in their environment, and the movement of the vehicle. There's vibration, there's noise. The animals are subjected to physical stress because they're moving and walking. It's very stressful for them. So they get fatigued, and fatigue is a physical stressor that affects muscle activity.

[The shot changes to show a black and white graphic of a pig. The camera zooms in to a close up of a muscle group. Small particles begin leaving the muscles.]

Text on screen: Lower quality meat

The final product is the meat, and the quality of the meat. And when a muscle is exhausted, there's not enough sugar – which is called glycogen – in the muscle, and the process of converting muscle into meat is negatively affected.

[The shot changes back to show Dr. Faucitano on a neutral background.]

My projects are multidisciplinary. So they're projects where I have several scientific collaborators working with me, along with their teams, of course.

[The shot changes to show several shots of pigs in pens.]

We apply stress. We make the animals walk for a long time. We transport them, we handle them in a certain way. And afterwards, we look at the quality of the meat.

[The shot changes to show pigs in pens.]

Normally, at the farm when the animals are ready to be transported or sent to the slaughterhouse…

[The shot changes to show Dr. Faucitano against a neutral background.]

…they are not fed. That's the first phase.

[The shot changes to show a black and white graphic of a pig. The camera zooms in to show a close up of the pigs stomach. The stomach flashes yellow and starts to fill with grain.]

Text on screen: Increased risk of death, Increased risk of vomiting.

If an animal's stomach is full when the animal is put on the truck, there's a risk that they animal could die or vomit while being transported.

[The shot changes back to show Dr. Faucitano against a neutral background.]

It's been demonstrated that not feeding animals for 24 hours before slaughter…

[The shot changes to show one of the employees at the centre feeding the pigs.]

…represents a saving of two kilos of feed per animal. So that's an economic advantage.

[The shot changes to show a “pot-belly” truck outside a barn waiting to be filled.]

And later, once the truck has arrived and is waiting to be loaded with pigs…

[The shot changes to show pigs in a large pen.]

…the handler enters the pen and starts bringing out the animals that are ready to be sent to the slaughterhouse.

[The shot changes to show pigs moving around a crowded pen.]

Narrator: Several of the strategies designed by his team have been adopted as best practices. The industry is becoming more and more aware of the advantages of animal welfare and now sees it as a marketing tool, especially internationally.

[The shot changes to show young pigs in a pen. They are curious about the camera.]

International contracts contain strict specifications for handling, driving, and transportation.

[The shot changes back to show Dr. Faucitano against a neutral background.]

Dr. Faucitano: We're doing a lot of work now to support the industry by researching the tools they need in order to control the conditions under which the animals are slaughtered.

[The shot changes to show several views of employees working with pigs inside the centre.]

In fact, to control the chain from the farm to the slaughterhouse. And if they can control it, they can make improvements and correct mistakes.

[The shot changes back to show Dr. Faucitano against a neutral background.]

The research I do is very applied, and the results I obtain are really clear. So they're easy to apply right away.

[The shot changes to show a woman holding a pig and smiling to camera.]

We're trying to improve their lives.

[Fade to black.]

[Fade up from black.]

Text on screen: 100th anniversary. Dairy and Swine Research and Development Centre, Sherbrooke, Québec, 1914-2014

[Cross dissolve.]

Text on screen: Modern. Innovative. Growing. Discover other agricultural innovations at www.agr.gc.ca.

[Light, country music fades out.]

Text on screen: Canada, Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, as represented by the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food (2015).

[Fade to black.]

Report a problem on this page
Please select all that apply:

Date modified: