What you need to do when you have to transport livestock animals - Farm4Trade Blog
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What you need to do when you have to transport livestock

Estimated reading time: 9 minute(s)

When moving, you must transport livestock in a way that will not cause animals injury or unnecessary suffering, adhering to animal welfare practices.

Today we dig in-depth on factors to consider when transporting animals.

Transportation of both domestic and wild animals is a common phenomenon, however it is often stressful to both owner and animal.

Why do you need to transport livestock?

  • Marketing
  • Slaughter
  • Better grazing land
  • Change of ownership

Discover Amove – Livestock Transport

Amove is a truck pooling application to offer and / or search space on means of transport for moving live animals. This logistics system of animal transport makes the meeting between supply and demand simpler and more effective allowing to locate and monitor on the map both the requests and the means of transport in transit.

Common mode of transport for animals

NOTE: Injuries may occurr, therefore stealth movement is advised!

  • Trekking on the hoof: Common practice whereby animals are moved from one area to the other, with herders moving on foot with animals. This often takes days, and usually man familiar with the area often move the animals.
  • Road: Trucks are used when moving animals.
  • Rail: Trains are still used to move animals and quite affordable.
  • Air: Often used to move animals across the country and continents, and quite costly.
  • Sea: Cumbersome but used to move animals from one part on the world to one other. Countries such as Australia, Oceania and New Zealand often use the sea during animal movement and road inland.

With reference to rail and road, prior to loading animals, inspect the selected mode of transport:

  • Ensure that the floors of the truck are non-slippery.
  • No sharp protrusions, that may injure animals on transit.
  • Well ventilated to stifle stress and suffocation.
  • Active permit to ensure that animal movement was allowed by relevant authorities.
  • Consider the distance from point A to B, speed of the truck, ventilation and so on.

What do you need to consider when you have to transport livestock?

  • When moving animals, avoid mixing different species together for example cattle and goats.
  • Separate animals according to age group.
  • Bulls, rams, boars, bucks must be transported separately, from female counterparts.
  • Horned animals must not be mixed with polled animals as this risks injuries.
  • Animals in late gestation, weak, or sick should not be transported unless to seek medical assistance.
  • Mix the herd you intend to transport the previous night as this allows animals to be familiar with each other.
  • Portable ramp should always be available in case of an emergency offloading.
  • Oftentimes, early morning or evening time is most suitable to move animals, as increase in temperature directly affects animals on transit, in particular pigs may die when environmental conditions are high.
  • Steady driving especially on sharp turns.

Risks to take into account in different means of livestock transport

  • Severe stress in pigs and cattle results in poor meat quality known as the “dark firm dry” (DFD) meat.
  • Bruising and injuries negatively affect meat industry and cause losses on the farmers’ income.
  • Animals may risk suffocation if there is inadequate ventilation.
  • Animals trekking on the hoof are prone to predation if poorly guided.
  • Fighting and bullying more especially, when young and adults are mixed together.
  • Sunburn if transported in an open truck.

Did you know?

Mixing pigs from different pens prior to transportation is vital, as it has been shown that when they smear each other with excreta it reduces fighting when on transit.
For large mammals such as elephants, mild sedatives are used when in transit.

In conclusion, animal movement is vital and several factors have to be put in place prior to transportation. Hence, as a farmer ensure the safety of your animals on transit.

References

Adams, D. B. (1994). Transportation of animals and welfare.
http://www.fao.org/3/x6909e/x6909e08.htm
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/farm-animal-welfare-during-transportation

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