Livestock Transport Standards Being Developed

US - American Humane Certified is to develop humane livestock transport standards.
calendar icon 1 July 2009
clock icon 3 minute read

The US's leading animal welfare monitoring and humane-labelling programme for food products – American Humane® Certified – will convene a panel of experts in animal handling, animal science, veterinary medicine and transportation equipment manufacturing to develop improved welfare standards for design, technology and monitoring of livestock transportation. American livestock transportation equipment that meets the standards will be recognised with the American Humane Gold Award.

American Humane Certified will begin monitoring the research and testing of a new humanely designed trailer, recently introduced at the World Pork Expo in Des Moines, Iowa. Advanced Livestock Transport (ALT), a new USA livestock trailer company, has imported its first trailer into the United States from trailer manufacturer Castañe of Spain, for introduction to the American pork industry, as well as other species that are transported by truck. ALT is the first transport company to sell equipment in North America that complies with European Union (EU) regulations on animal welfare.

The research on the ALT trailer will be conducted by Texas Tech University, under the direction of Professor John McGlone. Among data to be tracked are the rates of dead on arrival, and non-ambulatory and non-injured pigs compared to other transportation equipment designs. ALT has engineered temperature controls designed to reduce the rate of dead and downed pigs. The trailer also has increased floor space to be able to provide science-based space allowances and an elevator that eliminates the need for ramps. The trailer includes on-board GPS tracking, and temperature and video monitoring of animals during transport. The early research is expected to be completed by late 2009.

The certification of transportation equipment is a reintroduction of American Humane's historic Gold Award for humanely designed transportation equipment. It was first awarded in 1887 to the A.C. Mather Co. for its improved cattle rail car. Over the decades, American Humane has worked closely with the livestock and transportation industries to develop humane methods and equipment that improve animal welfare during transport.

"American Humane has been involved in creating more humane conditions for animals in transport since our founding in 1877," said Tim Amlaw, director of American Humane Certified. "It is fitting that we revisit our legacy and once again recognize humane practices in the transportation of livestock."

Upon completion of the livestock transportation standards and in-depth review by the American Humane Certified Scientific Advisory Committee, the standards will be publicly available on American Humane Certified's web site [click here].

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