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CAB eBooks

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 13 (Page no: 355)


Millions of animals are transported long distance (over 8 h) in Europe each year and there has long been concern that this poses serious welfare issues for livestock. These journeys, sometimes in adverse conditions, regularly involve transporting animals thousands of kilometres to slaughter. Routes identified as causing particular problems for animal welfare include those where: horses are transported from Central and Eastern Europe to Southern Italy; pigs are transported from the Netherlands to Southern Italy; and where sheep are imported into Greece. Even where legislation governing the welfare of transported animals is adhered to, animals may endure long journeys in cramped conditions and the stress of being handled, mixed, loaded and unloaded. They may also be exposed to regional variations including differences in climate and infrastructure which can further compromise their welfare. Furthermore, inconsistencies in enforcement of transport legislation within the EU and/or ineffective penalties for non-compliance mean that legislation is all too often ignored with serious welfare implications for the transported animals. Reports of welfare infringements en route are not uncommon and include: overstocking; illegal route plans; inadequate road vehicles; and sick, injured and dead animals. Animal welfare organizations in Europe believe that the long-distance transport of live animals over 8 h should be ended completely and that transportation of animals over these distances should be in carcass form. However, the issue of the live export trade in Europe is complex and multifaceted, influenced by many factors from the economy to the religions and cultures prevalent in the region. Legislative initiatives and action plans to be implemented within the next few years will offer opportunities to improve the welfare of transported livestock and alleviate, if not eradicate, the suffering they can endure on their, sometimes exceptionally long, journeys to slaughter.

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: 12 (Page no: 324) Australia and New Zealand. Author(s): Fisher, M. W. Jones, B. S.
Chapter: 14 (Page no: 387) Middle East. Author(s): Rahman, S. A.

Chapter details