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Livestock: Transport

Volume 461: debated on Tuesday 19 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what guidance or regulations his Department has issued for the maximum and minimum acceptable temperatures for the rearing and transportation of livestock. (143567)

The Welfare of Farmed Animals (England) Regulations 2000 do not specify a maximum and minimum temperature for the rearing of livestock, but do require temperatures to be kept within limits which are not harmful to the animals.

Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 on the protection of animals during transport and related operations, implemented in England by The Welfare of Animals (Transport) (England) Order 2006, requires all transporters of livestock to avoid animals suffering from extremes of temperature. For journeys of more than eight hours, vehicles must be designed to maintain temperatures of between 5°C and 30°C (+/- 5°C). However, for journeys solely within the UK, we have a derogation from the lower end of the scale until the time the vehicle is first moved and during any loading/unloading at intermediate points. This is because livestock often housed outdoors are accustomed to cold weather and the animals’ body heat quickly raises the temperature above 0°C.

Animal Health will write to transporters of farm livestock and horses with additional hot weather advice and to remind them of their responsibilities.