Key live transport welfare issues

sheep in a trailer © RSPCA

Long-distance live transport can cause farm animals a number of welfare problems, including:

  • Mental distress - due to the unusual and potentially frightening sights, movements, noises, smells, unfamiliar animals and people they'll encounter.
  • Injuries - if they're not handled appropriately and carefully during loading and unloading, and transported in well-designed, comfortable vehicles.
  • Hunger and dehydration - if they're not provided with appropriate food, water and plenty of rest breaks.
  • Heat stress - if they're transported for long periods in hot weather.

The risk of these problems happening increases with journey time.


We're concerned that current laws governing the live transport of animals aren't nearly good enough to safeguard animal welfare effectively on long journeys.

We're delighted the UK Government is consulting on new standards on the transport of animals in key areas such as journey times, space allowances and a ban on live animal exports.


We're delighted the UK Government has proposed a ban on live exports. It will also be crucial to enforce the rules effectively in the UK to reduce the risk of animals suffering.

Read more on what we're doing about transporting live animals.

Find out more