EFSA publishes recommendations to improve animal welfare during transport

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EFSA publishes recommendations to improve animal welfare during transport

September 16, 2022

More space, lower temperatures, shorter journeys

According to r, providing more space, lowering maximum temperatures and minimizing travel times are all necessary to improve the welfare of farm animals during therecommendations published by the European Food Safety Authority (ESFA).

EFSA’s advice is provided to the European Commission in a series of five scientific opinions to support its ongoing review of animal welfare legislation in the European Union (EU) – a key part of the EU Farm to Fork Strategy (F2F).

Scientific advice covers small ruminants (sheep and goats), equids (horses and donkeys), cattle (cattle and calves), pigs and animals transported in containers, including domestic birds (chickens, laying hens, turkeys, etc.) and rabbits. They identify the various welfare consequences that animals can experience during the different stages of transport, the hazards that may cause them and the animal-based measures (ABM) by which they can be assessed. For all species, being fit for transport is of utmost importance.

“Good animal welfare practices not only reduce unnecessary suffering, but also help improve animal health. This is a key element for the safety of the food chain given the close links between animal welfare, animal health and foodborne diseases, in line with the One Health principle to which EFSA s is committed,” said Guilhem de Seze, head of EFSA. risk assessment production department.

EFSA has developed quantitative thresholds for the temperatures that must be maintained in a vehicle as well as minimum space allowances for animals. EFSA also describes the development or progression of various other well-being consequences over time during transport, such as hunger, thirst and fatigue.

For example, for animals transported in containers (poultry and rabbits), EFSA recommends that the journey time be considered as the total residence time of the animals in the containers. The only way to avoid consequences for the welfare of day-old chicks is to transport the fertilized eggs and hatch them at the destination farm.

Current EU legislation on the protection of animals during transport came into force in 2005. As part of the F2F strategy, EFSA’s findings will support the ongoing review of legislation by the European Commission in the aim to align it with the latest scientific evidence, broaden its scope, facilitate its application and ultimately ensure a higher level of animal welfare. The Commission proposal is expected in the second half of 2023.





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