Transporting farm animals

What should be done when transporting my animals? When should I transport my animals? What should I feed the animals for feeding? These are some of the questions as a farmer you can ask yourself when you have bought animals or you want to transport to the slaughter house. Maintaining quality of the animals to their final destination is crucial as animals may end up being sick, die or lose weight on the way due to stress.

The following pointers will indicate the do`s and don`ts of transporting animals:

Do`s for transporting animals

  • Segregate animals of different species or substantially different weights and ages or if incompatible by nature.
  • Provide proper ventilation, drainage and absorption of urine.
  • Have sufficient headroom for animals to stand in a natural position.
  • Spread sand in the vehicle or have vehicle fitted with safe footholds, in addition to appropriate bedding.
  • Ensure that animals unloaded for feed, water and rest remain at least five hours and longer, if necessary, for all animals to receive food and water.
  • Ensure that calves too young to exist on hay and grain are provided with suitable food and water at intervals of no more than 18 hours.
  • Ensure that animals segregated in trucks receive extra protection from cold and wind chill; supply ample bedding.

Note: The Recommended Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Farm Animals -Transportation suggests no more than 12 hours between intervals for calves.

Do not:

  • Transport a sick or injured animal where undue suffering may result.
  • Transport when the animal is liable to give birth during the journey, unless under the advice of a veterinarian for medical care.
  • Continue to transport an animal that is injured, becomes ill, or is otherwise unfit to travel beyond the nearest place it can be treated.
  • Use goads or prods on the face, anal, udder or genital area.
  • Load or unload animals in a way that would cause injury or undue suffering.
  • Crowd animals to such an extent as to cause injury or undue suffering.
  • Transport livestock in trailers not designed for safe handling of that species or class of livestock.

Euthanize animals with the following conditions:

To euthanize is to intentionally end the life an animal to relieve pain and suffering. Note there are laws governing this per country!

  • Non-ambulatory: Unable to stand without assistance or unable to move without being dragged or carried (downers). Do not load or transport
  • Fractures of limb or spine
  • Arthritis in multiple joints
  • Cancer eye (severe)Cancer/leukosis (extensive)
  • Extremely thin animals
  • Pneumonia (unresponsive with fever)
  • Prolapsed uterus
  • Water belly
  • Nervous disorders, such as rabies must be reported to an extension worker or veterinarian
  • Hernia that impedes movement