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An improved method for lifting and transporting anesthetized pigs within an animal facility

Abstract

Transporting anesthetized pigs in a laboratory setting often requires strenuous manual lifting, posing a hazard to the safety of animal care personnel and to the welfare of the pigs. The authors developed an improved approach to lifting and transporting anesthetized pigs weighing up to 350 kg using mechanical lifts. Different equipment was used to accommodate pigs of different sizes as well as the building designs of three animal facilities. Using the lifts, anesthetized pigs are carried on sheets to maintain their comfort while being transported. The approach refines previous methods for handling and transporting anesthetized pigs and reduces the risk of injury to personnel.

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Figure 1
Figure 2: Ceiling-mounted lift with a handling arm and the small lifting sheet.
Figure 3: Ceiling-mounted lift attached to a two-directional rail system.
Figure 4
Figure 5: Placement of an anesthetized pig on a sheet.
Figure 6: Correct placement of pigs weighing >200 kg on the large sheet.
Figure 7: Correct placement of a pig weighing <200 kg on the small sheet, lifted by a ceiling-mounted lift.

Acknowledgements

We thank our staff at our animal facilities for enthusiastically working with the new equipment and making it a success. We also thank Uffe Vest Schneider, MD, PhD, and Anne Charlotte Teilmann, DVM, for reading and commenting on the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Camilla Schumacher-Petersen.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Schumacher-Petersen, C., Hammelev, K. & Flescher, J. An improved method for lifting and transporting anesthetized pigs within an animal facility. Lab Anim 43, 237–241 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1038/laban.531

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