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Introduction  
     
     
  Lairage of pigstomUppställning gris  
  Lairage of pigs. Photograph: Anne Larsen, SLU.  
     
     
  Biological principles described the physiological basis for stress. It has long been known that pigs carrying what are known as the ´halothane gene´ run a greater risk of severe stress. Of course, this stress is unpleasant for the animals and often leads to impaired meat quality as well. Although many countries, including Sweden, have been successful in removing the negative "stress gene" through breeding, it is generally considered that pigs are particularly susceptible to stress, in purely biological terms. High body temperature is an important factor which can cause very serious stress, resulting in the pig collapsing and potentially dying.  
     
  In a natural setting, pigs are very much dependent on mud baths, keeping their distance from others and cool ground as a way of regulating their body temperature. When being transported, it is sometimes impossible for pigs to cool themselves as much as they need to.  
     
  It is especially important to not expose pigs to extreme stress, particularly stress caused by heat. Because of this, there are strict regulations about ventilation and breaks during transport of pigs.  
     
     
   
     
  The pig lying down in the video has been affected by shock due to serious stress, probably as a result of high body temperature. This condition is life-threatening and the animal should be assessed by a veterinarian. The pig may need to be cooled down with cool water or be killed straight away. Film: Sophie Atkinson, SLU.  
     
     
 
Remember!

Pigs are very susceptible to stress, particularly as a consequence of overheating.

Domesticated pigs have problems with regulating their body temperature, particularly when they are crowded together in small areas on hot days.

The mortality rate among pigs during transport increases in hot weather (This can be counteracted by providing good ventilation and giving the animals sufficient space.)

Pigs which become too hot may collapse, and this stress condition is life-threatening.

 
     
     
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