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Livestock transport laws too vague, study finds
“All studied countries fall short in guaranteeing adequate protection to livestock during transport” – Ben Lecorps.
Researchers call for more specific legislation.

Animal transport regulations are failing to adequately protect livestock on long journeys, according to a new study by academics from the Universities of Bristol, Essex, and British Columbia.

The researchers conducted a ‘fitness check’ on existing laws in the EU, the UK, the USA, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, focusing on four major welfare risk factors: fitness for transport, journey duration, climatic conditions and space allowances.

Assessing the regulations in light of relevant scientific literature, they found that the majority of the laws were insufficient or too vague to be considered fit for purpose. For example, current EU space allowances fail to provide heavy cattle with the space that scientists have found they need to move between laying down and standing.

The team also looked at some proposed changes to the law. They highlighted that the UK’s planned ban on the export of livestock for slaughter from Great Britain will only apply to certain species, meaning that animals such as poultry will not be covered.

Ben Lecorps, study co-author and Animal Welfare lecturer at the Bristol Veterinary School, said: “All studied countries fall short in guaranteeing adequate protection to livestock during transport.

“Whilst this does not mean that all animals transported will experience serious harms, major risk factors such as excessively long journeys, or journeys during hot weather, are not being addressed to a satisfactory level.”

Eugénie Duval, study co-author and lecturer in Law at the Essex Law School, said: “Even if they do not necessarily reflect the latest scientific evidence, some regulations are more specific than others.

“If we were to take the best from each regulatory framework (e.g. fitness for transport in Canada; providing species-specific thresholds for the temperature inside vehicles in the EU) and apply some of the propositions made by some countries (e.g. a ban of export outside the EU borders: proposition of some EU member states), the ensuing regulations would be a major step closer to safeguarding animal welfare during transportation.”

The study, which was funded by
the Hans Sigrist Research Prize and a grant from the Humane Slaughter Association, has been published in the journal Royal Society Open Science.

Image © Shutterstock

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Rabbit Awareness Week set to return this summer

News Story 1
 Rabbit Awareness Week (RAW) is returning this summer, running from 24-28 June 2024. The theme for this year will be 'Healthy Diet, Happy Bunnies'.

The focus on rabbits' diet comes after the most recent PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report report revealed that 42 per cent of veterinary professionals identified inappropriate diet as one of the five most important rabbit welfare issues that need to be address.

The campaign will include veterinary blogs, videos, and digital waiting room resources. Practices can sign up to receive updates about RAW. 

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CVS Group hit by cyber attack

CVS Group, which owns more than 450 veterinary practices in the UK, has been hit by a cyber attack.

In a statement, the group said the incident involved unauthorised external access to a limited number of its IT systems. As soon as the attack was discovered, the group took its IT systems temporarily offline, causing 'considerable operational disruption'.

It has warned that the security steps taken and ongoing plans to move its operational systems and IT infrastructure to the Cloud are likely to have an ongoing impact over a number of weeks.

Due to the risk that personal information was accessed, CVS has informed the Information Commissioner's Office. The company is working with third party consultants to investigate the incident.