Jan 24, 2024
A collaborative effort by researchers from Canada, France, and the UK has scrutinized the regulations governing the transportation of live farm animals in five Western English-speaking countries. Published in the esteemed journal Royal Society Open Science, the study assessed the regulatory frameworks in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the European Union, and the United States.
The comprehensive analysis identified four primary risk factors affecting animal welfare during transport: fitness for transport, journey duration, climatic conditions, and space allowances. By comparing how each jurisdiction addressed these factors in their legal texts, the researchers evaluated the adequacy of current regulations based on scientific literature. The study also proposed future policy directions to enhance the protection of farm animals during transport.
Findings revealed significant disparities among jurisdictions regarding regulations on fitness for transport, with variations in clarity, specificity, and comprehensiveness. Notably, none of the jurisdictions had established a maximum total duration of transport for most species, relying instead on maximum intervals without feed, water, and rest, ranging from 12 to 48 hours.
The researchers highlighted inadequacies and vagueness in regulations concerning climatic conditions and space allowances, which failed to consider the diverse needs and responses of different species and animal categories.
Conclusively, the study found that the majority of regulations across jurisdictions were often insufficient, lacking in fitness for purpose, and unable to guarantee adequate protection for farm animals during transport. The researchers advocated for future regulations to be grounded in the best available scientific evidence, promoting a more comprehensive and consistent approach across borders. Key recommendations included clear definitions of fitness for transport, establishment of maximum total durations of transport, minimum space allowances, and maximum climatic conditions tailored to different species and animal categories. Additionally, the researchers emphasized the importance of improved enforcement, monitoring, and educational efforts to ensure compliance and uphold animal welfare standards.
|This page is part of the Animal News portal. Pictures may be representative of the news article. The opinions expressed by writers are their own.