The influence of road transportation position and orientation on muscular damage was evaluated in 30 goats. The animals were divided into two groups: 20 goats transported by road for 12-h during hot-dry conditions (TG) and 10 non-transported sedentary goats (SG). During the 12-h transportation period, the goats spent 7 h standing, of which 40.0% of the goats spent 4.5 ± 0.7 h standing in perpendicular direction, 30.0% spent 1.5 ± 0.5 h in parallel direction, while 20.0 and 10% spent 0.5 ± 0.1 h each in opposite and diagonal directions, respectively. Of the 5 h spent by the goats lying down, 33.6% of the goats spent 2.5 ± 0.7 and 1.5 ± 0.5 h each lying down in opposite and diagonal directions, respectively. Goats that adopted standing or lying down position in perpendicular and opposite directions during the transportation period had predominantly lower values of creatine phosphate kinase, alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, glucose and urea, which suggested less muscular damage and best transportation position. Lying down in opposite or diagonal orientations produced the highest (P < 0.05) activities of blood enzymes, and glucose and urea concentrations, which indicated high level of muscular damage and worst position. In conclusion, lying down or standing in opposite or diagonal orientations may have adverse effects on the welfare, health, productivity and meat quality of goats transported by road.
Key words: Goats, muscular damage, position and orientation, serum enzymes, stress, road transportation.
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