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What are we doing?

We believe all animals should be slaughtered close to the point of production, and we have for many years been calling for the replacement of long-distance transportation of livestock for slaughter with a 'carcass only' trade.

We believe the frequency and duration of all live animal transport, whether for slaughter, further fattening or breeding, should be minimised and that conditions during travel should be as good as possible, with animal welfare looked after by properly trained, caring staff.

Calves on transport lorry © RSPCA Photolibrary


Developing RSPCA welfare standards for farm animals

We are able to improve the lives of millions of farm animals each year using our RSPCA welfare standards for farm animals. The standards have been developed for nine of the most commonly farmed animals in the UK and include hundreds of requirements, based on scientific evidence and practical experience, to ensure higher standards of welfare for all animals reared, transported and slaughtered/killed accordingly.

The standards include requirements on transport, covering areas such as maximum permitted journey times, training of staff, humane handling of animals during loading and unloading, and adequate space provision during journeys.

Engaging with decision makers

We take every opportunity to put forward our views to governments and other key decision makers (both EU and UK) to encourage improvements. For example, our scientific staff have been members of committees such as the ‘Council of Europe Working Party and Drafting Group on protection of animals during international transport’.

Live transport of male dairy calves

Further information about how we’re working to solve this welfare problem is available on our dairy cattle pages.

If you share our concerns, you may like to know more about how you can help.

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