New guidelines on animal transport following the Defra consultation
New guidelines are available for livestock and poultry producers as part of the industry’s efforts to ensure high animal welfare during transport.
The guidance follows Defra’s recent response to its consultation on well-being in transport, which closed in January.
Exports of live animals for slaughter must be banned, journey times in England and Wales shortened and stricter temperature and headroom rules in trucks introduced, a joint statement from the Defra and the Welsh government in August.
See also: Export ban on live animals and shorter routes for livestock confirmed
The new NFU guidelines covers cattle, sheep and poultry, with tips for farmers and transporters.
This includes evaluating the types of journeys made, the fitness of the animal to travel, the correct loading and unloading of animals and the training of handlers.
NFU Breeding Council Chairman Richard Findlay has said animal welfare is a top priority for the union.
“We will continue to work with Defra to find evidence-based solutions that offer practical and meaningful improvements in well-being,” said Mr. Findlay.
Thomas Wornham, Chairman of the NFU Poultry Board of Directors, added: âAs poultry farmers our number one priority is the health and welfare of our birds, and the poultry industry has invested heavily. in improving bird welfare at all stages of the supply chain.
âWe have always maintained that it is the overall quality of the trip that determines the welfare of animals during transport, and this advice underscores the important role farmers play in maintaining our high standards of welfare. “
The guide also provides more information on how to deal with issues such as transporting injured and sick animals, transporting injured animals and emergency slaughter on the farm.
NFU members can also download fitness posters for travel.
NFU Dairy Board Chairman Michael Oakes said, âI am always extremely proud of our industry’s proactive approach to ensuring we stay on top of animal welfare standards.
âThese simple tips, especially the new industry posters, provide real clarity in outlining best practice expectations for everyone involved in transporting livestock.â