Mortality, morbidity, and fertility after accidental electrical shock in a swine breeding and gestation barn
Robert V. Knox, MS, PhD, MS; Clifford F. Shipley, DVM, Diplomate ACT; Glenn E. Bressner, MS; Vickie L. Jarrell, PhD
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Accidental electrocution occurred in a swine breeding barn, resulting in the immediate death of two sows and requiring euthanasia of four sows in the subsequent hours and days due to injury and hind-limb paralysis. The incident occurred on December 18, 2012, while transrectal ultrasound was being performed on a group of postweaned sows (Group 1, n = 23; average parity 1.7, range 0 to 6) to be inseminated December 18 and 19, and a second group (Group 2a, n = 15; average parity 2.3, range 0 to 7) that had been inseminated December 4 to 6 (13 to 15 days post breeding). An additional group of replacement gilts (Group 2b, n = 7), also bred December 4 to 6 with the same semen, were located in another room of the barn and not exposed to the electrical discharge. Among surviving Group 1 and Group 2a animals and the unexposed Group 2b sows, electric shock, breeding group, and parity had no detectable effects on farrowing rate or number of liveborn pigs (P > .10; ANOVA). Electrical safety for animals and humans should be evaluated in swine barns and steps taken to minimize risk of electrocution and electric shock.
Keywords: electrocution, fertility, stress, safety
Cite as: Knox RV, Shipley CF, Bressner GE, et al. Mortality, morbidity, and fertility after accidental electrical shock in a swine breeding and gestation barn. J Swine Health Prod 2014;22(6):300-305.
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