The Effect of Varying Distances from the Wind Turbine on Meat Quality of Growing-Finishing Pigs
“Avoiding noise-induced stress is important not only for maintaining meat quality but also for improving animal welfare.”
By Małgorzata Karwowska, Jan Mikołajczak, Zbigniew Józef Dolatowski and Sylwester Borowski
© by Małgorzata Karwowska. This work is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
This study was conducted to assess the effect of rearing pigs at three different distances from a wind turbine (50, 500 and 1000 m) on the physicochemical properties and fatty acid composition of loin and neck muscles. The experiment was carried out on 30 growing-finishing pigs, derived from Polish Landrace × Polish Large White sows mated to a Duroc × Pietrain boar. The results obtained during the noise measurement showed that the highest level of noise in the audible and infrasound range was recorded 50 m from the wind turbine. Rearing pigs in close proximity to the wind turbine (50 m) resulted in decreased muscle pH, total heme pigments and heme iron as well as reduced content of C18:3n-3 fatty acid in the loin muscle. Loins of pigs reared 50 m from the wind turbine were characterized by significantly lower iron content (6.7 ppm g–1) compared to the loins of pigs reared 500 and 1000 m from the wind turbine (10.0–10.5 ppm g–1). The concentration of α-linolenic acid (C18:3n-3) in loin and neck muscles decreased as the distance from the wind turbine increased. Avoiding noise-induced stress is important not only for maintaining meat quality but also for improving animal welfare.
In summary, a significant negative influence of noise generated by the wind turbine with a capacity of 2 MW on the quality of growing-finishing pig loin muscles was determined. Rearing growing-finishing pigs in close proximity to the wind turbine resulted in lower pH, total heme pigments and heme iron as well as lower content of C18:3n-3 fatty acid of loin muscles. In this sense, it is crucial to reduce the exposure of animals to noise generated by wind turbines in order to avoid negative effects on meat quality.