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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 11 (Page no: 288)


This chapter brings together information gathered from a variety of sources in key countries across Asia (China, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the region of Taiwan), chosen to highlight a range of contexts in which live transport takes place and to examine the extent of welfare concerns regarding live animal transport and opportunities for change. Meat consumption and live animal transport are increasing across Asia. In China, factors that may have tended to lead to a large and increasing live animal transport industry include: * The large size of the country; * Increasing urbanization; * Increasing consumption of meat, especially among urban populations; * Long distances between some significant areas of production and consumption; * A preference for freshly killed meat; and * Reduction in localized production. Animals are transported from all over China to key centres such as Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong involving journeys of up to 2500 km. Animals are transported live for sale at wet markets or for slaughter in modern slaughterhouses such as at Shenzhen north of Hong Kong. China also has a developing live export trade to Muslim countries such as Malaysia, Jordan and Kuwait. The same basic principles apply to live transport elsewhere in Asia. Distances travelled in Taiwan are shorter, but the same processes have occurred as the population has urbanized, become wealthier and meat consumption has increased. Most consumption is in the north including the capital Taipei; most production is in the centre and south and there is a demand for 'warm', freshly killed meat. On the other hand, imports and exports of live animals have been low since the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in 1997. Live animal transport in India involves fewer animals than in China. Less meat is consumed, but consumption is increasing rapidly as the economy develops. An issue is the transportation, often long distance, of worn-out draught oxen and dairy cattle. Most Indian states have banned cattle slaughter for religious and moral reasons, so many of these animals are transported to Kerala and West Bengal or exported to Pakistan and Bangladesh. In Bangladesh, animals from all over the country and those from India are transported to markets in the capital Dhaka. Countries across Asia are developing legislation to protect the welfare of animals. Indian legislation includes rules which guide transport of poultry, pigs and cattle. For religious reasons, some Indian states have passed laws to prohibit transport of animals, especially cattle, for slaughter. China has not yet passed specific animal welfare legislation, but its Animal Husbandry Law (AHL) includes measures for conditions during transport, and there is also legislation relating to disease control during transport. In Taiwan, the Animal Protection Act includes legislation about transport, and Animal Transport Management Regulations were enacted in 2005, partly derived from World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) standards. Much needs to be done, both to pass legislation in line with the new OIE standards and to enforce that which is on the statute book. Research across Asia shows that, in addition to long journeys, animals are often subjected to long periods without food or water, rough handling and overcrowding. They are often carried in vehicles in which they cannot be protected from extremes of weather. There are many cases of actual abuse listed in this chapter, such as forced watering in China and the use of sharp sticks to goad animals in India. A top priority must be to reduce transport times. As journey length increases, animal welfare tends to decrease. Reducing journey times requires the development of local and regional slaughterhouses with high health and welfare standards together with an infrastructure of refrigerated transport. Markets for frozen and refrigerated meats need to be developed as higher living standards are attained. Consumers need to be educated to demand high welfare food. The food industry needs to respond by demanding high standards of its suppliers, and governments by ensuring good legislation and enforcement. All those involved in animal transport and marketing need to be trained to a high professional standard and then treated and respected accordingly.

Other chapters from this book

Chapter: 1 (Page no: 1) Science of animal welfare. Author(s): Appleby, M. C.
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: 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
  • Social Sciences Department, University of Huston-Downtown, Huston, USA.
  • Year of Publication
  • 2008
  • ISBN
  • 9781845934033
  • Record Number
  • 20083129001