In Canada there are many regulations enforced by the CFIA and the SPCA surrounding the correct and acceptable way to transport animals. First, it is unacceptable to transport animals that are unable to withstand the stress of transportation. Animals that are unable to move on their own or have an injury that considerably hinders their mobility are considered compromised and unfit for transportation. As well, any physically affected (dehydrated, exhausted or with fever) or mentally affected animal with a nervous system disorder cannot be transported.
However, in certain circumstances animals may be transported to a processor or veterinarian for treatment even if they are compromised. Steps should be taken to prevent further injury or unnecessary suffering for animals with open wounds that are bleeding or with bone exposure, have missing limbs, are blind in both eyes or animals that have recently been pregnant. Brent Allison, a feedlot owner states that he “would contact a vet to come look at the animal before transporting it. If it [is] necessary to transport a downer animal a letter must be given by a vet if they feel it is justifiable to transport it. It is important to make sure that animals are treated in the most humane way”.
Livestock must also be transported in an acceptable form of transportation. Warren Fertig, the owner of Allan Dale Industries Ltd., explains the importance of various new features that have increased the animal’s safety during transportation. One innovation includes the anti-slip flooring which is grooved and has small metal protrusions that are close together to add grip to the animal’s hooves that will minimize the chance of an animal slipping and becoming a downer on the trailer. Animals must be transported in a trailer that is safe, with adequate room for the animal to stand comfortably in a natural position and is not crowded.
Animals must be provided with proper protection from poor weather, ventilation and adequate food, water and rest at appropriate intervals. Cows must be given a five hour rest period for every forty-eight hours they spend on a trailer as regulated by the CFIA. Downer animals can have many symptoms, such as not being able to stand on their own, fracture of limbs, deep wounds or severe chronic pain. It is unacceptable for an animal that has these injuries or is likely to incur them during loading or transportation to be put on a trailer and taken anywhere due to animal welfare issues and ethic considerations. The regulations developed by the CFIA and SPCA are enforced to ensure that animal rights are not violated.
– Ben Farrant, Kim Cox, Jenn Jassal, Kelsey Podgurny, Shevawn Brecht, Kathleen Kitchen, Amy Stanley