The assessment of swine welfare requires feasible, reliable, and reasonable indicators. On-farm evaluation of pig welfare can provide valuable information to veterinarians and farmers. However, such protocols can result expensive and time-consuming. With this regard, an interest in the appraisal of swine welfare at abattoir has grown over the recent years. In particular, the use of certain lesions collected directly from slaughtered animals to determine the welfare status of pigs has been evaluated by several authors. In the present review, the different methods developed to score lesions collected directly from the body and the viscera of animals slaughtered in European abattoirs (“abattoir-based measures”) are presented. The text specifically focuses on the methods currently available in the literature for the scoring of body, pluck and gastric lesions during post-mortem activities. Moreover, the strengths and weaknesses of abattoir-based measures schemes are discussed. To conclude, the future perspectives of the assessment of pig welfare at the slaughterhouse are described, appealing for a benchmarking system that can be systematically used by veterinarians and other professional figures involved in the process.
Abattoir-Based Measures to Assess Swine Welfare: Analysis of the Methods Adopted in European Slaughterhouses / De Luca, Silvio; Zanardi, Emanuela; Alborali, Giovanni Loris; Ianieri, Adriana; Ghidini, Sergio. - In: ANIMALS. - ISSN 2076-2615. - 11:1(2021), p. 226. [10.3390/ani11010226]