Compassion in World Farming is playing a leading role in the 'Handle with Care' global campaign to stop the long distance transport of animals for slaughter.
Each year, millions of lambs, sheep, pigs, goats, calves, cattle, horses and donkeys are transported around the world. Animals are often transported in overcrowded conditions, with lack of access to water, food and rest.
Young, sick or injured animals are also transported; these animals travel particularly badly and are more susceptible to disease and distress. As the journeys wear on, the animals become increasingly exhausted and dehydrated. Some get injured or collapse, whilst others die. This inhumane trade results in great suffering.
Long distance transport not only inflicts serious welfare problems on animals, but also risks spreading infectious diseases such as foot-and-mouth over long distances.
Long distance transport of farm animals is a completely unnecessary trade, and should be replaced with trade in meat.
Scale of the problem
Long distance transport of animals is a global problem, with some of the worst trade taking place from Australia to the Middle East. During the last 30 years Australia has exported more than 150 million sheep and cattle. Up to 100,000 animals per voyage are transported by ship on journeys to the Middle East. More than 2 million animals have died en route.
Each year about 6 million calves, cattle, sheep and pigs are transported huge distances across Europe. Many of these journeys, which involve extensive suffering, take 40 or 50 hours; some take over 70 hours.
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