Transportation is inherently stressful for farm animals even in the best circumstances. Animals in transit are especially vulnerable to disease, injury, fatigue, weather extremes and rough handling. Transit may occur at various stages of life, such as between hatchery and farm; from one farm to another; from a farm to an auction; and to slaughter. The ASPCA advocates the following welfare practices during transit:
- Using appropriate stocking densities and minimizing travel times
- Calm and orderly loading and unloading of animals, including by using appropriately constructed and angled ramps to reduce slipping or piling. Ensuring proper ventilation throughout the vehicle
- Improving and enforcing regulations such as those that limit travel times and those that require animals to be in good health during transit. This includes applying the 28 Hour Law to poultry.
- Protecting animals from inclement weather and adverse environmental conditions such as excessive heat or cold
- Planning for unexpected changes in routing or schedule, including access to food, water and rest at appropriate intervals
- Developing appropriate response mechanisms for accidents, such as action plans, a command and reporting structure, and incident reports
- Using electronic logs to ensure drivers are properly rested
- Worker training and education programs for all parties handling animals, including basic medical and first aid training
These practices should help animals achieve Freedom from Discomfort, Freedom from Hunger and Thirst and Freedom from Fear and Distress.