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Animals 2018, 8(9), 155; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8090155

Road Transport of Farm Animals: Mortality, Morbidity, Species and Country of Origin at a Southern Italian Control Post

1
Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Bari, 70010 Bari, Italy
2
Jockey Club College of Veterinary Medicine and Life Sciences, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China
3
ASL BA—Local Health Authority Veterinary Service, 70100 Bari, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 17 August 2018 / Revised: 14 September 2018 / Accepted: 15 September 2018 / Published: 17 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Farm Animal Transport)
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Simple Summary

Long distance transportation is a welfare concern because it may cause sickness (i.e., morbidity) or death (i.e., mortality). Commercial transportation in Europe is regulated by the Council Regulation (EC) No. 1/2005 which regulates the maximum journey in the different species. After this time animals must be unloaded for resting, watering and feeding at control posts (CPs) where Official Veterinarians (OVs) have to check their health. This study analyzed the surveillance reports filled by OVs at a CP in Southern Italy from 2010 to 2015. A total of 1391 trucks stopped at the CP, transporting a total of 111,536 animals. The average mortality and morbidity rates were 0.025% and 0.010%. Cases of mortality and/or morbidity were reported for only 11 out of the 1391 trucks (0.8%). In a truck transporting lambs, 14 dead on arrival (DOA) were recorded, and this represented 93% of all DOAs. This is the first study reporting the results of surveillance practices conducted by OVs on animals travelling from North Europe to a CP in Southern Italy in compliance with EC 1/2005. Further studies should be conducted comparing the implications of long distance transportation at different CPs along different routes.

Abstract

Statistics on animal transport and its implications for health and welfare are limited. This study documented the animals transiting through a control post and their welfare outcomes measured by mortality rate and the prevalence of animals considered unfit for further transport (i.e., morbidity). Reports filed by the director of the control post and Official Veterinarians from 2010 to 2015 were analyzed. A total of 60,454 (54.2%) sheep/goats, 45,749 (41.0%) cattle, and 5333 (4.8%) pigs travelled in 225 (16.2%), 1116 (80.2%) and 50 (3.6%) trucks, respectively. Trucks coming mainly from France (71.3%), Spain (14.0%), and Ireland (7.4%) went mainly to Greece (95.4%), which was also the most common nationality of the transport companies (44.6%). Cases of mortality and/or morbidity were reported for only 11 out of the 1391 trucks (0.8%). The average mortality and morbidity rates were 0.025% and 0.010%, with maximum values for transport of lambs (0.084%, and 0.019%). Species of animal being transported and space allowance were associated with the measured welfare outcomes (p < 0.05). Overall, this study provided statistics based on official surveillance reports, suggesting that small space allowance during long haul transportation of sheep/goats may affect their health and welfare. View Full-Text
Keywords: livestock; transport; control post; health; welfare livestock; transport; control post; health; welfare
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Padalino, B.; Tullio, D.; Cannone, S.; Bozzo, G. Road Transport of Farm Animals: Mortality, Morbidity, Species and Country of Origin at a Southern Italian Control Post. Animals 2018, 8, 155.

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