Acta Vet. Brno 2016, 85: 205-212

Transport-induced mortality in Pekin ducks transported for slaughter in the Czech Republic

Eva Voslářová1, Taťana Hytychová1, Vladimír Večerek1, Katarina Nenadović2, Iveta Bedáňová1

1University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences Brno, Faculty of Veterinary Hygiene and Ecology Department of Animal Protection, Welfare and Behaviour, Brno, Czech Republic
2University of Belgrade, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Animal Hygiene, Belgrade, Serbia

Received September 21, 2015
Accepted May 2, 2016

Data on the numbers of Pekin ducks transported to slaughterhouses between 2009 and 2014 and the numbers of ducks that died during these transports were recorded in cooperation with the State Veterinary Administration of the Czech Republic. In the monitored period, a total of 12,327,017 ducks were transported, of which 9,545 (0.077%) died. The levels of transport-related mortality over these years varied significantly (P < 0.001); the lowest mortality was observed in 2011 (0.059%) and the highest in 2013 (0.089%). The impact of distance on transport-related mortality in ducks was demonstrated. The lowest transport-related mortality (0.052%) was found for distances shorter than 50 km. It was significantly (P < 0.001) lower than the mortality rates connected with longer journeys. The greatest mortality rates were found for transport distances of 101–200 km (0.105%). In addition, the season of the year significantly affected transport-related mortality in Pekin ducks. The highest death losses were found in the summer (0.090%). Death losses of ducks connected with summer transports were significantly higher (P < 0.001) in comparison with transport-related mortality rates in any other season of the year. The lowest death losses were found in duck transports carried out in the autumn and winter (0.069% and 0.072%, respectively) with no significant difference between those two seasons. Shortening transport distances and maintaining a suitable micro-climate inside transport vehicles especially in the summer are thus two important factors that can contribute to reducing transport-related mortality in Pekin ducks in commercial practice.


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