Animals have as many rights as humans do, and this includes making sure that they are transported safely and humanely, taking every precaution to ensure their comfortable passage. Although the safety and humane treatment of the animals is a main concern, it isn’t the only one – the flavor, color and quality of the meat can be adversely affected if livestock are brutally handled or not transported effectively.
Anyone who has the responsibility of transporting livestock needs to have a thorough understanding of how animals should be safely and humanely moved from one area to another.
The law dictates the applicable size for any livestock trailer used for transporting animals, and as a general rule, the trailer must be large enough to safely and humanely accommodate the animals. Because fumes from other vehicles are potentially toxic, any livestock trailer must be adequately ventilated too. Animals can panic when they slip, meaning that livestock trailers must also have floors that are non-slip. Depending on the size of the animals, the risk of injury can be lowered if there are partitions in the trailer.
When transporting livestock, having an expert will ensure that the animals are handled correctly. Loading the animals on to the trailer is one of the most important parts of the transportation process; to avoid animals becoming frightened and perhaps even injured, they should be loaded quietly and gently.
It can be difficult to control an injured animal, and it pays to keep a lookout for any injured animals so that you can tend to them quickly. Some types of animal need to have more space between them on the transport vehicle, for a more comfortable journey.
Take into account the temperament and characteristics of the animal, when transporting them. A threatened horse may kick out hard, while male pigs can hurt you with their long tusks, and a stampede of frightened cattle is all too common. Stress and injuries are more likely to affect pigs, chickens, and various other animals should be transported in a vehicle equipped with a temperature control. Always have a backup plan and a means of escape if you are transporting animals, in case it is needed.
If a handler needs to persuade an animal to move in a certain direction, the area in which to navigate around that space is known as the point of balance. To make the process of loading and unloading as efficient as possible, learn the animals’ walking patterns, and backing away from that space is the recommended way for handlers to move. Leading one of the most docile of the animals into the transporter first is also a recommended strategy, as the other docile and tame animals will tend to follow.
To keep your animals moving quickly and safely, try to eliminate as much noise and distraction as possible, for example flashing lights, a revving or running engine, and sudden movements.
The ages and type of animal being transported are two important factors when moving livestock, although you should also consider the length of the journey and the weather conditions.