Transporting animals

The issue

Flock of sheep

Food animals should be slaughtered as near to the point of production as possible.

Welfare concerns arise when animals are transported to a third country where the true origin and total transport times aren't always known.

Our goal

We believe that animals to be slaughtered for food should not be transported long distances to the abattoir but should be slaughtered as near to the point of production as possible.

We therefore recommend that animals are transported on the hook (as meat) not on the hoof (as live animals).

The animal welfare section of the BVA Brexit and the veterinary profession report recognises the opportunity presented by Brexit to consider the welfare issues around the transport and export of live animals. 

We are keen that measures should address the issue of transport in general, rather than concentrating on perception of the export of animals. We recognise that animal transport is a legal trade, and integral to agricultural life.

 

BVA policy on transporting animals

  • Legislative improvements to minimise suffering are welcomed, but any such measures must be adequately enforced on a Europe-wide scale.
  • Slaughter should take place as near to the point of production as possible.
  • Veterinary surgeons have a central role in effective enforcement of animal welfare standards.
  • No animal should be transported unless fit enough to complete the entire journey without pain or discomfort.
  • No animal should be exported and then raised in systems previously banned in this country due to welfare considerations. Neither should the meat from such animals be re-imported.

Relevant resources