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Ebooks on agriculture and the applied life sciences from CAB International

CABI Book Chapter

Long distance transport and welfare of farm animals.

Book cover for Long distance transport and welfare of farm animals.


The book is a compilation of articles on the effect of animal transport on the food safety and quality, health and welfare of livestock animals for agricultural and processing industry. The implication of long distance transport of animals for slaughter is highlighted. Topics discussed are: science of animal welfare; economics; physiology of diseases; legislation; meat quality; enforcement of tran...


Chapter 1 (Page no: 1)

Science of animal welfare.

Concern for animals has increased in many countries over a long time, particularly the last 50 years. Development of scientific disciplines relevant to animal welfare also has a long history and recent acceleration. These disciplines include animal husbandry, animal science, veterinary medicine and behavioural science, which contribute to our understanding of welfare and the welfare problems of long-distance transport of farm animals for slaughter. Welfare is affected by many factors, as expressed by the Five Freedoms, and by the fact that people vary in the emphasis that they place on physical aspects, mental aspects and naturalness. Science copes with this complexity by applying a systematic approach to the asking of questions, and yielding answers that, as information accumulates from one or more comparable situations, are increasingly reliable and generalizable. As one example, science requires careful record keeping, so that factors affecting injury and mortality during transport can be proven rather than assumed, and therefore addressed. Physical welfare problems caused by transport include injury, disease and stress - which may be detected from behaviour, from physical effects such as failure to grow or from physiological measurements. In the worst cases, animals die, and mortality is increased by high or low temperatures, by long journey times and by transporting very young animals. Evidence about mental aspects of welfare is mainly of two sorts: whether animals have what they want and whether they are suffering. Many preferences of animals may be frustrated by transport, both to avoid conditions such as vibration and noise, and to express normal behaviour. Forms of suffering caused by transport include hunger, thirst, discomfort, pain, frustration, fear and distress. All of these generally increase with time of deprivation or exposure, such as during long-distance transport. The idea that welfare is related to naturalness has received less scientific attention, but is implicit in the scientific approach to using animal biology in understanding, designing and managing husbandry systems including those for handling and transport. It is therefore appropriate to point out that transport is clearly unnatural. Decisions about treatment of animals will be most firmly based, and acceptable to the greatest possible number of people, if they take into account all three approaches to welfare: physical, mental and natural. There are various integrative approaches that do this, both with respect to the inputs affecting welfare and the outcomes hoped for. From such approaches, there is considerable scientific evidence that long-distance transport causes many welfare problems for farm animals. The European Food Safety Authority is one of an increasing number of organizations that take such evidence seriously, and says: 'Transport should therefore be avoided wherever possible and journeys should be as short as possible'.

Other chapters from this book

Chapter: 2 (Page no: 18) Economic aspects. Author(s): Appleby, M. C. Cussen, V. Garcés, L. Lambert, L. A. Turner, J.
Chapter: 3 (Page no: 69) Physiology and disease. Author(s): Manteca, X.
Chapter: 4 (Page no: 77) Meat quality. Author(s): María, G. A.
Chapter: 5 (Page no: 113) Enforcement of transport regulations: the EU as case study. Author(s): Cussen, V. A.
Chapter: 6 (Page no: 137) The welfare of livestock during sea transport. Author(s): Phillips, C. J. C.
Chapter: 7 (Page no: 157) The welfare of livestock during road transport. Author(s): Broom, D. M.
Chapter: 8 (Page no: 182) Africa. Author(s): Menczer, K.
Chapter: 9 (Page no: 218) North America. Author(s): Engebretson, M.
Chapter: 10 (Page no: 261) South America. Author(s): Gallo, C. B. Tadich, T. A.
Chapter: 11 (Page no: 288) Asia. Author(s): Li, P. J. Rahman, A. Brooke, P. D. B. Collins, L. M.
Chapter: 12 (Page no: 324) Australia and New Zealand. Author(s): Fisher, M. W. Jones, B. S.
Chapter: 13 (Page no: 355) Europe. Author(s): Corson, S. Anderson, L.
Chapter: 14 (Page no: 387) Middle East. Author(s): Rahman, S. A.

Chapter details

  • Author Affiliation
  • World Society for the Protection of Animals, 89 Albert Embankment, London, UK.
  • Year of Publication
  • 2008
  • ISBN
  • 9781845934033
  • Record Number
  • 20083128991