Welfare Implications of the Gas Stunning of Pigs 1. Determination of Aversion to the Initial Inhalation of Carbon Dioxide or Argon
The aversive effects of 90 per cent argon in air, 30 per cent carbon dioxide in air or 90 per cent carbon dioxide in air were investigated in slaughter weight pigs. A version was assessed from their reluctance to enter the three gaseous atmospheres to obtain a reward (apples). The pigs did not show any aversion to the inhalation of 90 per cent argon in air. The majority of the pigs did not show aversion to the presence of 30 per cent carbon dioxide in air. By contrast, the inhalation of 90 per cent carbon dioxide was aversive to the majority of the pigs. Fasting them for up to 24h prior to testing did not overcome the pigs' reluctance to enter an atmosphere containing 90 per cent carbon dioxide.
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