• Open Access

Scientific Opinion Concerning the Welfare of Animals during Transport


  • EFSA Panel on Animal Health and Welfare (AHAW)

  • Panel members: Anette Bøtner, Donald Broom, Marcus Doherr, Mariano Domingo, Joerg Hartung, Linda Keeling, Frank Koenen, Simon More, David Morton, Pascal Oltenacu, Albert Osterhaus, Fulvio Salati, Mo Salman, Moez Sanaa, Michael Sharp, Jan Stegeman, Endre Szücs, Hans-Hermann Thulke, Philippe Vannier, John Webster, Martin Wierup
  • Correspondence: AHAW@efsa.europa.eu
  • Acknowledgement: The Panel wishes to thank the members of the Working Group on the Welfare of Animals during Transport: Donald Broom, Silvana Diverio, Joerg Hartung, Johann Hofherr, Toby Knowles, Bert Lambooij, Malcolm Mitchell, Leonardo Nanni Costa, Moez Sanaa, Endre Szűcs, Antonio Velarde, Eberhard Von Borrell, John Webster and Martin Wierup and EFSA staff: Oriol Ribó for the support provided to this scientific opinion. The participants at the Stakeholder Technical Meeting held at EFSA-Parma on 13 October 2010 are gratefully acknowledged for the useful discussions during the meeting and the information provided.
  • Adoption date: 2 December 2010
  • Published date: 12 January 2011
  • Question number: EFSA-Q-2010-00053
  • On request from: European Commission


The Scientific Opinion on the welfare of animals during transport reviewed the most recent scientific information concerning the main farm species. New scientific evidence and consequent conclusions and recommendations were arranged following the structure of Annex I of EC Regulation 1/2005 . On fitness for transport, recommendations for cattle and poultry were focused on repeated humane handling and careful inspection prior to transport. On the means of transport, use of partitions in horse transport, compulsory fasting of pigs with provision of water at stops, and temperature limits for poultry were major recommendations. Maintaining stability of animal groups was recommended as good practice, with special emphasis on the need to avoid mixing unfamiliar pigs or goats. On watering and feeding intervals, journey times and resting periods, journey duration should not exceed 12 hours for horses and 29 hours for cattle. Horses should be supplied with water one hour before and one hour after transport, and for cattle there should be a 24 hour recovery period with access to food and water. For rabbits, time spent inside the containers during lairage should be considered journey time. Space allowance for horses should be given in terms of kg/m2 instead of m2/animal. For cattle and sheep, it is recommended that space allowances should be calculated according to an allometric equation relating size to body weight. Limits for stocking densities of broilers in containers should be related to thermal conditions. On the navigation systems, temperature monitoring systems should be incorporated. Minimum standards should be established regarding data type to be recorded, the system and the on-board architecture. Recommendations for further research focused on the thermal limits and regulation for poultry and rabbits, the effects of ventilation on pigs, space allowance for rabbits, newly hatched chicks and pigs, optimal journey times for horses, pigs and calves.