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To understand and alleviate physiological stress during transportation of livestock - AW0809

The provision of a sound scientific basis for the formulation of policy on legislation in the EC and the Council of Europe for the protection of animals in transit is of paramount importance. Underpinning research should identify, characterise and quantify the major stressors to which animals are exposed during commercial transportation and their physiological and behvioural consequenses. The development and application of physiological stress modelling will establish the acceptable ranges and limits for individual stressors and their combinations and precicely define optimum transport environments for each species. This approach will facilitate the design of improved vehicles and transport practices and will reduce stress and the risk of physical injury and thus optimise welfare whilst maintaining productive efficiency by matching transport conditiond to the animal`s physiological requirements. Such stidies will directly influence other policy issues and objectives including handling and stocking density of animals on vehicles, feeding, altering and resting intervals and journey durations. The proposed programme will focus opon the transportation of young calves (24-42 days). It will invlove the development of integrative, predictive models of physiological stress responses of these animals to quantified stressors encountered in commercial transport including the effects of different thermal conditions, periods of feed and water deprivation and rest in relation to journey times within the recommendations of EC directive 95/29 and will allow definition of optimal welfare protocols for calves in transit. The models will be developed from simulation studies, full scale transport trials and a comprehensive review and analysis of existing literature and knowledge. The findings will allow the prioritization of the factors determining vehicle micro-climates and will identify which conditions and procedures place animals most at risk. The outputs will not only inform policy but will form the scientific basis for review and renegotiation of the Directive in 1999. Close contact and interaction with commercial producers and hauliers and their professional bodies throught will promote rapid transfer of technology and information previously demonstrated in the poultry sector.
Project Documents
• Final Report : To understand and alleviate physiological stress during transportation in livestock   (522k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 1997

To: 2002

Cost: £910,406
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Roslin Institute, Edinburgh (BBSRC)
Animal Welfare              
Plants and Animals              
Fields of Study
Animal Welfare