Excerpts from the animal welfare guidelines "Transport of Animals by Land"
OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Code (2008)
Fitness to travel
- Each animal should be inspected by a veterinarian or an animal handler to assess fitness to travel. If its fitness to travel is in doubt the animal should be examined by a veterinarian. Animals found unfit to travel should not be loaded onto a vehicle, except for transport to receive veterinary attention.
- Humane and effective arrangements should be made by the owner and the agent for the handling and care of any animal rejected as unfit to travel.
- Animals that are unfit to travel include, but may not be limited to:
- those that are sick, injured, weak, disabled or fatigued;
- those that are unable to stand unaided and bear weight on each leg;
- those that are blind in both eyes;
- those that cannot be moved without causing additional suffering;
- newborn with an unhealed navel;
- pregnant animals which would be in the final 10% of their gestation period at the planned time of unloading;
- females travelling without young which have given birth within the previous 48 hours;
- those whose body condition would result in poor welfare because of the expected climatic conditions.
- Risks during transport can be reduced by selecting animals best suited to the conditions or travel and those that are acclimatised to expected weather conditions.
- Animals at particular risk of suffering poor welfare during transport and which require special conditions (such as in the design of facilities and vehicles, and the length of the journey) and additional attention during transport, may include:
- large or obese individuals;
- very young or old animals
- excitable or aggressive animals
- animals which have had little contact with humans;
- animals subject to motion sickness;
- females in late pregnancy or heavy lactation, dam and offspring;
- animals with a history Of exposure to stressors or pathogenic agents prior to transport;
- animals with unhealed wounds from recent surgical procedures such as dehorning.
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