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Live Animal Transport

horseFarmed animals receive fewer legal protections than some wildlife and all companion animals. For instance, in the United States, animals farmed for food and fiber are not protected under the Animal Welfare Act. In addition, few factory farmed animals are protected by any law when it comes to transporting them to slaughter. Read the following FAQ to learn more about the transport of farmed animals.

How are animals transported for slaughter?
Animals bound for slaughterhouses are most often transported via cargo ship, motor vehicle, air, or rail. Crowded conditions with little (if any) ventilation are the norm. Animals may not receive any food, water, or light.

Can animals die on their way to slaughterhouses?
Yes. Animals often die in transit to slaughterhouses due to stress, injury, fighting, heart failure, and heat exhaustion.

Do any federal laws regulate the humane transport of farmed animals?
There only federal law that protects the well-being of farmed animals in transport is the 28 Hour Law, which requires transporters of livestock to stop once every 28 hours.

Does the United States still export horses for slaughter?
Yes. The United States exported over 100,000 horses for slaughter overseas in 2014 and at this writing, the export of horses for human consumption continues in the U.S. However, if passed, The Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act, H.R. 1942 would outlaw “the knowing sale or transport of equines or equine parts in interstate or foreign commerce for purposes of human consumption.”

How can I stop the suffering of animals in live transport?

  • Contact your legislators to express your displeasure with live animal transport.
  • Support legislation to require stricter regulation and enforcement of animal farming welfare and treatment laws to include transport requirements.
  • Adopt a plant-based diet.
  • If you do eat animals, purchase meats from locally farmed animals.
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