a1 Agence française de sécurité sanitaire des aliments (AFSSA), Laboratoire d’études et de recherches avicoles, porcines et piscicoles, 22440 Ploufragan, France
In recent years, broiler mortality during transport to the slaughterhouse has become a cause for concern because of animal welfare considerations and associated economic losses. A descriptive and analytical epidemiological study was carried out to estimate the extent of DoA in poultry broiler production in the main producing regions of France and to determine factors influencing the DoA rate. Data regarding animal characteristics and rearing, catching, transport and lairage conditions were collected on farm and at the slaughterhouse for 404 chicken broiler flocks processed during 2005. The average DoA rate was 0.18% (from 0% to 1.4%). Variables found to be associated (P < 0.05) with the DoA rate in a multivariable negative binomial model were flock cumulative mortality on farm, the catching system (mechanical being more at risk than manual), the density in crates (more space allowance being associated with less mortality) and climatic conditions (rain and wind being associated with more DoA). Mortality during transport is thus related to all production steps from the farm to the slaughterhouse. Efforts have therefore to be made by all professionals to contain mortality on farm and during catching and transportation.
(Received October 19 2009)
(Accepted June 08 2010)
(Online publication September 22 2010)