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Research article2003Peer reviewed

Assessment of air quality in a commercial cattle transport vehicle in Swedish summer and winter conditions

Winker I, Gegresenbet G, Nilsson C


Transport by road can induce significant stress in cattle. Thermal stress is among the main stress producing factors during transport. The provision of ventilation in livestock transport vehicles is usually through openings along the sides of the vehicle. The incoming air will affect air quality inside by regulating temperature, relative humidity, gas levels and levels of other contaminants. The aim of the present investigation was to map out the air quality in a commercial cattle transport vehicle under various climatic conditions and with varying stocking densities and transport times. Distributions of air temperature, relative humidity and concentrations of ammonia, carbon dioxide. oxygen and methane have been determined during 35 experimental journeys. In average the mean temperature inside the compartment was about 3 degreesC and 6 degreesC higher than outside temperature in summer (+7.8 - +24.0 degreesC) and winter (-24.3 - +12.7 degreesC) conditions respectively. The temperature increment inside, as could be expected from theory, increased with reduced ventilation and increased animal density. Many stops to load new animals lowered the temperature increment and relative humidity in winter time. In summer more stops made the compartment temperature and relative humidity increase. The inside temperature distribution was less than about 3 degreesC during both summer and winter season. Average ammonia level varied between 3 and 6 ppm depending on stocking density and number of stops with a maximum value of 18 ppm. No detectable methane levels could be found inside the compartment at any time

Published in

Deutsche Tierärztliche Wochenschrift
2003, Volume: 110, number: 3, pages: 100-104

      SLU Authors

        • Nilsson, Christer

          • Department of Agricultural Biosystems and Technology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

        UKÄ Subject classification

        Animal and Dairy Science
        Veterinary Science

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