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Swine Carcass Characterization Exposed to a Small-scale Desiccation Environment

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org

Citation:  2021 ASABE Annual International Virtual Meeting  2100821.(doi:10.13031/aim.202100821)
Authors:   Sara E. Weyer, Brett C. Ramirez, Daniel S. Andersen, Benjamin C. Smith
Keywords:   carcass, disposal, in-barn, leachate, pig.

Abstract. A catastrophic mortality event for swine would present numerous challenges with management and disposal of infected carcasses. This study explored a new strategy for biosecure in-barn processing of swine carcasses as an alternative to traditional management and disposal approaches. A small-scale, mobile laboratory with two discovery rooms (DRs), replicating a swine finishing facility, was constructed to execute tests of in-barn disposal methods. Carcasses were desiccated by subjection to heat at a room air temperature of 43°C (110°F) for 16 days. Three carcasses (average=82 kg, SE=1.27 kg) were elevated over individual leachate collection systems in DRA, thereby removing leachate from the room. Three carcasses in DRB were placed on concrete slats with cumulative leachate collection in the pit below. Carcasses were characterized by rectal and shoulder temperature monitoring and daily weighing of carcasses and leachate in DRA. Room environments were compared for thermal performance, and carcass temperatures were compared. Data suggested there was no significant impact of flooring material on internal carcass temperature. Gompertz and logistic models were fit to leachate production data and carcass mass reduction data. Further quantification and qualification of in-barn management strategies will result in better definition of biosecure disposal approaches in the event of a catastrophic mortality event.

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