Scientific Basis

Animal Transport Certification

Welfare plus: scientific basis

The project aimed to the development of a welfare certification system for transporters in order to improve animal welfare during long distance transports.

A special focus was given to the following species: cattle, sheep, horses (for meat) and pigs. The main purpose was to identify scientific basis for the certification scheme to be applied for long distance journey.

The project partners worked together to produce a report describing the so defined “Welfare plus scheme”. Authors investigated existing literature and collected different interviews to Competent Authorities representatives and drivers concerning in particular fitness of animals to start a journey; further investigation was developed to identify how electronically collected data on transport should be standardised for welfare assessment and monitoring during the journey.

A stakeholders' consultation and a literature search were performed to list potential animal based welfare parameters to assess welfare during and after long distance transport. Following the protocols, containing indicators and animal based measures, were developed. The protocols were tested and an analysis was carried out with reference to the welfare parameters, in order to rank the importance of those welfare measures (a set of 10-14 measures to provide the animal based justification of any long journey transport to be certified at a Welfare Plus level). A description of the assessments carried out, their methodology and the training of assessors is included in the articles of the Newsletter n. 3 and n. 4 of this project.

A so called “Delphi” procedure was used to rank welfare measures, promoting collaboration with different experts and stakeholders. The project Newsletter n. 5 contains a detailed article on this particular activity and explains relevant features of the Delphi method.

Recommendations and conclusions of this report (Final report describing the animal welfare monitoring system for drivers and third parties for transported cattle, pigs, sheep and horses) were the basis for the elaboration the Welfare Plus certification scheme being developed under the WP 3.


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