Care must be observed when loading and unloading hoofstock and poultry to minimize injury and stress.
Physical abuse of animals must not be tolerated under any circumstances.
Pre-transport evaluation and biosecurity measures are recommended to limit the transmission of diseases.
Sick and injured animals identified at the time of loading or unloading should be separated and managed appropriately, including provision of necessary veterinary care (this may include euthanasia or humane slaughter under veterinary supervision).
Vehicles used for transport should be safe for the animals being hauled and the people who are loading and unloading them.
Animals must be protected from environmental extremes, such as excessive heat and cold.
Suitable water and feed should be available as appropriate and needed for the species, age and condition of the animals, as well as the duration of transport and climatic conditions.
Animals should be allowed to rest at appropriate intervals during transport. The type of transport, the age and species of the animals being transported, and climatic conditions should determine the frequency of rest stops and whether the animals should be unloaded.
Unloading, sorting, grouping and lairage should be performed so that hoofstock experience minimal stress. Unnecessary mixing of animals from different lots should be avoided.
Facilities should be constructed to permit safe and proper handling, facilitate movement and reduce stress.
The AVMA supports science-based guidelines pertaining to the transport and humane slaughter of hoofstock and poultry that have been developed in collaboration with experienced veterinarians, animal behaviorists, and production/livestock transport experts. The AVMA also supports research on improved practices for humane transport and slaughter.