More space, lower temperatures, shorter journeys: EFSA’s recommendations to improve animal welfare during transport

“Good animal welfare practices not only reduce unnecessary suffering, but also contribute to animal health. It is therefore a key element for the safety of the food chain, given the close links that exist between animal welfare and health and foodborne diseases, according to the “one health” principle ( a health) » to which EFSA is committed,” said Guilhem de Seze, Head of Risk Assessment at EFSA.

EFSA has defined quantitative thresholds for temperatures to be maintained in transport vehicles as well as minimum space allowances for animals. The reviews also downgraded the development or progression of various other parameters impacting animal welfare over time during transport, such as hunger, thirst and fatigue.

For example, with regard to animals transported in containers (poultry and rabbits), EFSA recommends that the journey time be considered as the total time that the animals spend in the containers and that, for chicks of ‘One day, the only way to avoid any welfare consequences is to transport the fertilized eggs and hatch them at the destination farm.

Current EU legislation on the protection of animals during transport came into force in 2005. As part of the F2F strategy, EFSA’s findings will form the basis for the review of the legislation by the European Commission, a revision that aims to align with the latest scientific evidence, broaden its scope, facilitate its application and ultimately ensure a higher level of animal welfare. The Commission proposal is expected in the second half of 2023.

Public meeting on animal welfare

On September 26, EFSA is organizing a public event where it will present the results of its scientific opinions on animal transport as well as recently published opinions on the welfare of farmed pigs. More information can be found at this link.

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