Almost all farm animals will be transported at some point in their lives. Some animals are transported to different areas of the country or to different farms or buildings to fit in with the changing seasons or their stages of growth. Some farm animals are also transported to livestock markets to be sold, and most are eventually transported to an abattoir (slaughterhouse) to be slaughtered/killed.
If animal welfare is not a priority during live transport, there can be a high risk of animal suffering. The handling during loading onto and unloading from vehicles can be stressful, and during transport animals may be faced with strange sights, movements, noises, smells and unfamiliar animals. Heat stress, lack of good ventilation and long periods without food, water or rest can add to the welfare problems.
We believe that live transportation must be kept to a minimum. Animals should be slaughtered close to the farms where they were reared and long-distance transportation of livestock for slaughter should be replaced with a 'meat carcass-only' trade. During transport, higher welfare standards should be used and the animals looked after by competent and caring staff.
We are working in a number of different ways to improve the conditions in which all animals are transported.