CANADA - The chair of the Saskatchewan Pork Development Board has suggested concerns being raised over the amount of time livestock spend in transit are unwarranted, writes Bruce Cochrane.
In Canada livestock can remain in the transport trailer for a maximum of 36 hours before being offloaded for rest and to be fed.
Saskatchewan Pork Development Board Chair Florian Possberg notes the 36 hour time limit comes from years of experience and reflects the large distances animals are moved in Canada.
Florian Possberg-Saskatchewan Pork Development Board:
Swine, we know, can very easily handle 36 hours without food and water as long as they get appropriate immediate care at the other end which typically does happen.
We know though that, if you need to offload the animals somewhere along the way, logistically where is that going to be?
When you do offload animals, particularly if it's where other animals have been, there's a very significant risk of disease.
We know the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea for example caused 8,000,000 mortalities in the United States in just the swine industry in a year and a half.
Other disease, swine dysentery, PRRS and a number of other diseases would cause a lot more animal welfare issues short term and long term for our animals than the potential slight benefit of offloading, so we really believe that it's in the interest for the welfare of our animals to get them from point A to point B as quickly as possible and not risk introducing other diseases that could cause serious other problems.
Mr Possberg suggests our system really needs to be concerned with outcome.
He said, whether it's a short haul or long haul, if there's significant injury or loss of animal life that's not acceptable and needs to be corrected.
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