A methodology for mapping current and future heat stress risk in pigs

Heat stress is a global issue constraining pig productivity, and it is likely to intensify under future climate change. Technological advances in earth observation have made tools available that enable identification and mapping livestock species that are at risk of exposure to heat stress due to climate change. Here, we present a methodology to map the current and likely future heat stress risk in pigs using R software by combining the effects of temperature and relative humidity. We applied the method to growing-finishing pigs in Uganda. We mapped monthly heat stress risk and quantified the number of pigs exposed to heat stress using 18 global circulation models and projected impacts in the 2050s. Results show that more than 800 000 pigs in Uganda will be affected by heat stress in the future. The results can feed into evidence-based policy, planning and targeted resource allocation in the livestock sector.