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All forms of transport are potentially hazardous for animals, regardless of whether travel is between or within countries, or by road, rail, air or sea. However, experience shows that animals can be transported under suitable conditions without harm to their welfare.

The provision of suitable conditions and the establishment of a mutually satisfactory framework for regulating the international transport of animals depends on an understanding of welfare needs and of the biological basis for disease, stress and suffering. The author examines the biological aspects of this framework.

The capacity of animals to adapt to the different demands of different forms of transport varies with the species and physical state of animals being transported. Key practicalities are the preparation and selection of animals before transport, the provision of suitable environments, feed, water and rest during transport, and arrangements for recuperation after transport. Animals which are compromised by disease or injury must be excluded.


open access article