Improving Transport with Scientific Evidence and Animal Welfare Legislation

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Dr. Malcolm Mitchell, of the Roslin Institute, and Dr. Peter Kettlewell, Silsoe Research Institute, brought a wide swath of experience in commercial animal transportation to the Equine Track at the Animal Transportation Association International conference in Vancouver in March.  Although his research has been mainly in pigs and poultry–it has definite indications for horses as we seek to improve trailer design and all aspects of transport for equines.

Dr. Mitchell began his presentation with the observation that stress in transit is a major welfare issue; he pointed out that the word “WELFARE” is derived from the meaning “to travel well.”  He also reminded the audience that the first published work on mass transportation of animals was documented in the Bible as Noah’s Ark, which obviously did not meet the stocking-density and many other aspects of modern requirements for animal care and safety.

Background:

There is growing global emphasis on legislation and regulations to ensure improvements in animal welfare and all aspects of animal care, transportation, and management.  Good examples are the OIE and EU regulations and guidance codes, their prominence in the media, and their implementation in the 27 member states of the EU

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Written by:

Rebecca Gimenez Husted, BS, PhD, is the primary instructor and president of Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue. Her first book, Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue, was published in 2008. She is an internationally sought instructor in technical rescue techniques, procedures, and methodologies, and she has published numerous critiques, articles and journal submissions on horse safety, technical large animal rescue and horse handling issues.

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