Can a livestock trailer be made more ‘humane’?

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DENVER — The nation’s leading animal-welfare monitoring and humane-labeling program for food products, American Humane Certified, will convene a panel of experts in animal handling, animal science, veterinary medicine and transportation equipment manufacturing to develop improved welfare standards for design, technology and monitoring of livestock transportation.

The livestock transportation equipment that meets the standards will be recognized with the American Humane Gold Award.

Begin monitoring

American Humane Certified will begin monitoring the research and testing of a new humanely designed trailer introduced at the World Pork Expo in Des Moines, Iowa.

Advanced Livestock Transport, a new livestock trailer company based in Spain, has imported its first trailer into the U.S. for introduction to the American pork industry, as well as other species that are transported by truck.

Advanced Livestock Transport is the first transport company to sell equipment in North America that complies with European Union regulations on animal welfare.

The research on the Advanced Livestock Transport trailer will be conducted by Texas Tech University, under the direction of John McGlone.

Data to be tracked

Among data to be tracked are the rates of dead on arrival, and non-ambulatory and non-injured pigs compared to other transportation equipment designs.

Advanced Livestock Transport has engineered temperature controls designed to reduce the rate of dead and downed pigs. The research is expected to be completed and published by late 2009.

The certification of transportation equipment is a reintroduction of American Humane’s historic “Gold Award” for humanely designed transportation equipment.

Will be available

Upon completion of the livestock transportation standards and in-depth review by the American Humane Certified Scientific Advisory Committee, the standards will be publicly available at www.thehumanetouch.org.

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