One of the main challenges of food industry is to offer quality products to its customers. Due to the high and growing demand of meat transport of alive animals is fundamental to achieve that, as bad conditions in transporting can affect negatively to their health, maybe even not being in condition to fulfill sanity regulations at the end.
The main complication while transporting living animals instead unanimated objects is that the first notice transport conditions, which can affect to their stress level. For example, an abrupt stop or direction change can make boxes of inanimate items be beaten, but if packaging is efficient nothing will happen. In the case of the animals, they will be hit against its jails, putting in danger their health conditions, and they will be upset for the rest of the travel.
For this, it is responsibility of the carrier keep a moderate speed and attention to the road. Besides, conditions of the container are important, as avoiding the presence of dangerous objects (for example with sharp extremes) which can hurt the animals in accident case.
Also, choosing the best rout, avoiding for example roads in bad conditions, turns more important than in other type of transports.
Also, the temperature control is a big problem. Not only because it alters the animals, but also because it can make them arrive dehydrates to the final destiny.
It is difficult to manage this factor, because due to the agglomeration of jails with animals inside a truck container is easy to arrive to high temperatures, but some measures can be taken, as for example giving water to the animals in long travels, as when exporting other countries. Other practice is charge animals in morning hours, when temperatures are lower, as explained in the following video:
Another possibility to consider is try not to charge too many animals in a shipment, even if it is more expensive (as unitary cost increases when the charge is smaller) it can help to guarantee the animals will arrive in good conditions.
These problems are even more complicated when transporting delicate animals, as bees: while an important temperature change while traveling can upset a pigs shipload, bees can even die.
Regulations are also more difficult than when transporting non living products, Europe laws establish limit period time to 8 hours in travels by road when transporting animals. If the vehicles are improved (with efficient ventilation systems and other characteristics) this period can be extended to the following:
-Pigs: 24 hours, as long as they have access to water during the whole travel.
-Horses: 24 hours, with condition of water supply every 8 hours
-Animals in lactation period: 9 hours + 1 hour of rest and water supply + 9 hours.
-Sheeps and goats: 14 + 1 hour for rest and water supply + 14 hours.
For the companies, it is important pay attention to these factors not only to be efficient (as the animals bad shapes due to travel conditions produces important losts of money) but also to keep a good image between the customers, as conscious against animal abuse is a growing tendency.
Sourcess and interesting links: