In order to supplement the two previous reports on the welfare of animals during transport (SCAHAW; 2002 and EFSA, 2004), the working group collected the most recent scientific information concerning the main farm species (horses, pigs, sheep, goats, cattle, poultry and rabbits).
New research confirms that pigs have difficulties in adapting to stressful situations. When grouped for transport, pigs kept in stable groups and without the presence of unfamiliar animals, have a reduced level of stress. Recent scientific studies indicate a higher risk of mortality when pigs are fed before transport, and highlight the need for water to be always available at the farm, and assembly points.
In the case of the means of transport , pigs should be fasted before transport and water should always be available at the farm, assembly point and lairage. During long transports (over 8 h) water should be provided at rest stops but it is unnecessary to provide water continuously while the vehicle is in motion. In relation to the transport practices it is recommended that wherever possible, animals should be kept in stable social groups. Pigs should be loaded onto vehicles in groups no greater than six. Sows and boars should be handled separately and transported in separate compartments. In pigs, for journeys exceeding 24 hours, feed should be available every 24 hours at staging points followed by 6 hours rest. On the space allowance, conclusions and recommendations are focused on the way of calculation of the spaces depending on the animal type.