Characteristics of loads of cattle stopping for feed, water and rest during long-distance transport in Canada.

Flint, H.E., Schwartzkopf-Genswein, K.S.G., Bateman, K.G., and Haley, D.B. (2014). "Characteristics of loads of cattle stopping for feed, water and rest during long-distance transport in Canada.", Animals, 4(1), pp. 62-81. doi : 10.3390/ani4010062  Access to full text

Abstract

This study is the first comprehensive examination of long-haul cattle being transported across Canada and off-loaded for feed, water and rest. A total of 129 truckloads were observed at one of two commercial rest stations near Thunder Bay, Ontario. Data collected included information regarding the truck driver, the trailer, the trip, the animals and animal handling. The majority of the loads stopping were feeder calves (60.94%) while 21.09% were weaned calves, and the remaining 14.84% were market weight cattle. The truck loads surveyed were in transit for, on average, 28.2 ± 5.0 hours before stopping and cattle were rested for an average of 11.2 ± 2.8 hours. These data suggest that loads stopping at the rest station were adhering to the regulations stated in the Health of Animals Act, which outline a maximum of 48 hours in transit before a mandatory stop of at least 5 hours for feed, water and rest. There was a large amount of variability around how well recommendations, such as stocking density were followed. Further research is required to assess how well cattle are coping with long-distance transport under current regulations and industry practices.

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