Archivos Latinoamericanos de Producción Animal, Vol 23, No 6 (2015)

Tamaño de la letra:  Pequeña  Mediana  Grande

Animal welfare and sustainability of livestock transport

Carmen Gallo


More and more companies demand respect for environmental and quality standards in the agri-food chain. Within this context, an animal transport process that is sustainable or natural over time must necessarily be based on values and ethical principles. Animal welfare is a cornerstone for a more humane and sustainable society, where there is no place for animal suffering. In most situations, animal suffering is not intentional, but results from ignorance, neglect or production systems that do not take into account the world-accepted five freedoms or needs of animals. For animals that are not used to traveling, as is the case with production animals, the process can be very stressful. In the transport process in general, the 5 freedoms of animals can be affected. They suffer from hunger and thirst since, at least in Latin America, they are not provided with water or food during the trip; this is particularly serious when transport is prolonged. They can suffer pain, injuries and illnesses due to hurts and falls during loading, travel and unloading. They are not free from discomfort, since for the purposes of supposed economic savings high load densities are used, causing lack of space and overcrowding. They are not free from fear or distress because they have a hard time keeping their balance due to the movement of the vehicle, traveling crammed, with heat, cold or lack of ventilation, etc. Finally, the possibility of expressing their natural behaviors is restricted by the lack of space. In order to achieve a sustainable livestock transport, ethically acceptable to the general public and the public that consumes food of animal origin in particular, minimum standards of animal welfare must be respected.

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