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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 12 (Page no: 324)

Australia and New Zealand.

The transport of animals to slaughter in Australia and New Zealand is complex with differences in geography, animals, distances travelled, slaughter destinations, animal welfare guidelines and regulations and people's expectations. However, three main themes are apparent, two of which raise significant issues for animal welfare. First, the majority of livestock within each country are transported to slaughter over varying, but not long, distances. Such transport is regarded as necessary, and both countries have government endorsed codes or guidelines describing the conditions (e.g. handling, vehicle design and operation, environmental factors, unavailability of food and water) under which livestock should be transported. There also exist various industry guidelines and quality assurance programmes which serve to reinforce government standards. In New Zealand, codes of welfare have legal status, and failure to adhere to the minimum standards can be used to support a prosecution. In contrast, in Australia there are, as yet, no enforceable standards for the land transport of livestock for slaughter. Reported instances of poor animal welfare associated with this type of transport in either of the two countries are rare, but there is little publicly available information on journey outcomes. Second, in Australia some livestock and feral animals may be transported long, sometimes extremely long, distances for slaughter. These distances suggest the animals experience less than ideal conditions, particularly when the journey exposes animals to significant changes in environmental conditions. While long journeys can compromise animal welfare, the responses of these animals to such journeys and the conditions they experience have not been adequately documented. Of particular concern is the transport of livestock from remote areas. Often unused to human contact and handling, they may suffer from the stress of mustering, confinement and long-distance transport. Finally, animals are also exported by sea from Australia (and potentially New Zealand) for slaughter overseas. In view of the conditions they inevitably endure during transport; the inherent mortality demonstrating that some are unable to tolerate those conditions; the equivocal benefits to the exporting country; and the alternative of supplying chilled product, it is concluded that the long-distance export of livestock for slaughter should not take place.

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: 11 (Page no: 288) Asia. Author(s): Li, P. J. Rahman, A. Brooke, P. D. B. Collins, L. M.
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
  • Kotare Bioethics, PO Box 2484, Stortford Lodge, Hastings, New Zealand.
  • Year of Publication
  • 2008
  • ISBN
  • 9781845934033
  • Record Number
  • 20083129002