The present study evaluated the effects of fasting animals for 8hours prior to an 8-hour road journey and their ability to cope withthe stress of transport.There was no significant difference in rectalbody temperature, pre and post transport and there were nosignificant differences in liveweight among treatments on days 0(pre-transport), 1, 4 and 10 (post-transport). Bulls (230kg) undergoingan 8-h transportation at stocking densities of 0.82 m2 /animalshowed physiological and haematological responses that werewithin normal referenced ranges. Animals that were fasted for8-hours and then transported lost 9.4% bodyweight following the8-hour journey, while non-fasted and transported animals (NF+T)lost 7.2%. The control animals remaining at grass and non-fasted(NF+G) gained 2%. The animals that were fasted continuously andnot transported (F+F) and the non-fasted control animals that werefasted for 8 hours (NF+F) lost 6.1% and 6.2% respectively.There was no significant change in globulin, glucose, urea, haemoglobin,beta-hydroxy butyrate, fibrinogen concentrations, haematocritand monocyte percentages, monocyte and red blood cell numbers,platelet numbers among treatments prior to or after transport.The % lymphocytes were reduced in the fasted and non-fastedtransported animals and post-transport and there was no significantchange in lymphocyte numbers. The % of neutrophils and thenumber of neutrophils were significantly increased in the fasted andnon-fasted transported animals. Baseline protein concentrationswere significantly lower in the non-fasted and transported and nonfastedthen fasted treatments initially. Following transport, proteinconcentrations were significantly higher in the fasted and transportedtreatment compared with the non-fasted animals at grass.White blood cell (WBC) numbers were not significantly differentprior to transport. Following transport, the WBC numbers weresignificantly higher in the fasted and transported treatment comparedwith the non-fasted at grass, fasted and then fasted, and thenon-fasted and fasted treatments. Albumin concentrations weresignificantly higher following transport in the F+T treatment comparedwith the NF+G, F+F, and NF+F treatments and the NF+Ttreatment had significantly lower albumin levels than the F+T andNF+F treatments. Haptoglobin concentrations were not significantlydifferent prior to transport. Following transport, haptoglobin concentrationswere significantly higher in the F+T compared with theNF+G treatment. Lactate concentrations were significantly higher inthe F+T and NF+T compared with the NF+G, F+F, and NF+F treatmentsfollowing transport.In conclusion, from the physiological and haematologicalmeasurements, an 8 hour journey time, even without access to feedfor 8 hours prior to transport did not impact negatively on animalwelfare.
AGRIP End of Project Reports
Teagasc End-of-Project Reports