LIVESTOCK and poultry welfare during transport is the key focus of new guidance issued by the English National Farmers Union.

This cross-sector guidance covering beef, lamb, dairy and poultry will be available to everyone within the industry and aims to support continued animal welfare post-farmgate with guidance for farmers and hauliers on effective animal transport. It also includes downloadable posters to raise awareness of best practice and provides a one-stop-shop for everything associated with animal transport.

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The guidance comes following Defra’s recent response to the welfare in transport consultation, in which the ENFU highlighted that the focus of both government and industry should be to ensure the best possible welfare outcomes. This includes focusing on the types of journeys made, the animal’s fitness to travel, loading and unloading animals properly and driver training.

ENFU livestock board chairman Richard Findlay said: “Maintaining high animal welfare in transport is a priority for all livestock farmers and we are always receptive to new and improved guidance on this issue.

“This new guidance demonstrates our commitment to prioritising welfare and further improving our already high standards of animal welfare. We will continue to work with Defra to find evidence-based solutions that deliver practical and meaningful welfare improvements.”

ENFU poultry board chairman Thomas Wornham said: “As poultry farmers our main priority is the health and welfare of our birds, and the poultry sector has invested heavily in improving bird welfare at all stages throughout the supply chain.

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“We’ve always maintained that it is the overall quality of the journey that determines animal welfare during transport and this guidance highlights the important role farmers play in maintaining our high welfare standards.”

Union dairy board chairman Michael Oakes commented: “This straightforward guidance, in particular the new sector-specific posters, offer real clarity in outlining the expectations of best practice, for all involved in transporting livestock. This can only serve to further safeguard our high standards and exemplify the careful and thoughtful approach to ensuring individual animal and species needs are fully considered.”