Journal Article


N E O'Connell
D Armstrong
K Griffin
L Collins
M A Palmer
A Hanlon
L A Boyle
G A Carroll



physiological animal welfare animal health cortisol welfare pigs measures hair

Identifying physiological measures of lifetime welfare status in pigs: exploring the usefulness of haptoglobin, C- reactive protein and hair cortisol sampled at the time of slaughter. (2017)

Abstract Physiological measures indicative of the welfare status of animals during rearing could form part of an abattoir-based animal health and welfare assessment tool. A total of 66 pigs were used in this study, the aim of which was to assess how serum concentrations of haptoglobin (Hp) and C-reactive protein (CRP) (assessed in 51 pigs), and hair concentrations of cortisol (assessed in 65 pigs), measured at or close to slaughter, reflected welfare-related indicators recorded from the animal during its lifetime. These indicators were recorded at intervals between 7 and 21 weeks of age and included assigning scores for levels of tail and skin lesions, recording the presence or absence of certain health issues, and conducting qualitative behavioural assessments (QBA). Pigs recorded as having tail lesions during their lifetime had higher hair cortisol levels than those with no tail lesions (tail lesions: 47.87 ± 3.34 pg/mg, no tail lesions: 42.20 ± 3.29 pg/mg, This research should be repeated on a larger scale, but the results suggest that hair cortisol measured at slaughter could provide insight into the welfare status of pigs during their lifetime. Hp may be a useful indicator of tail lesions in pigs. However, further research utilising a greater proportion of severely bitten pigs is required before conclusions can be drawn.
Collections Ireland -> Teagasc -> PubMed

Full list of authors on original publication

N E O'Connell, D Armstrong, K Griffin, L Collins, M A Palmer, A Hanlon, L A Boyle, G A Carroll

Experts in our system

N E O'Connell
Total Publications: 15
Louise Collins
University of Limerick
Total Publications: 4
Alison Hanlon
Total Publications: 41
Laura Boyle
Total Publications: 56