Assessment welfare and carcass quality issues during transport (w/truck design)

EnviroAg Australia Pty Ltd

  • Project code: PRJ-010961

  • Project stage: Closed

  • Project start date: Friday, October 12, 2018

  • Project completion date: Monday, March 30, 2020

  • National Priority: CME-Priority 3-Contributing to efficient and secure chicken production systems


RIRDC are seeking an independent assessor to undertake a study of welfare and carcass quality on trucks. Specifically undertake an assessment of potential welfare and carcass quality issues during transport with development of options for proof-of-concept truck modifications to address these issues.
Little study has been performed in Australia. Overseas studies have found overall transport-related mortality of broiler chickens transported for slaughter in the Czech Republic was 0.37%. (range 0.31% to 0.72%), The increase approximately corresponding to the increasing transport distance. Highly significant differences were found when comparing transport-related mortality rates in individual seasons of the year. The greatest mortality was associated with transports carried out in winter months whereas the lowest death losses (0.30%) were found in chickens transported for slaughter in summer months. The key variables would be temperature and distance traveled.
Withe regard to carcass quality physical harm potential will need to be evaluated by means of measure acceleration in 3 dimensions to assess the risk of physical harm across a range of truck types. This data will be used to assess proof of concept design modifications to minimise harm.


Chicken Meat

Research Organisation

EnviroAg Australia Pty Ltd

Objective Summary

1) Correlate mortality with temperature, travel distance and truck design across different designs
2) Measure vertical and horizontal acceleration to evaluate risk of physical harm on different truck types
3) Analyse all data to define correlations with truck design features and packing methods
4) Derive the optimal proof of concept design and packing practices
Best practice manual for work practices and design recommendations for truck design.