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RSPCA Policy F1 Transportation of animals – general principles

1.1The transportation of animals can cause significant stress and often involves high risk of adverse welfare outcomes. The degree of stress and risk involved will differ for each individual animal depending upon many factors such as the particular species, age, health, and domesticity of the animal.
1.2People responsible for the transport of animals have a duty of care to ensure that animals are not assembled, loaded, transported or unloaded in a way that is likely to cause injury, suffering or distress.
1.3People responsible for the transport of animals must be trained and competent in the tasks they are expected to perform.
1.4Animals selected for transport must be in good health and fit for the intended journey. The only exception to this requirement is when the transport is for emergency purposes to seek veterinary treatment.
1.5Where groups of animals are transported, they must be separated into appropriate compatible groups prior to loading in order to decrease the risks of injury. Grouping must take into account the species, class, size, health and behaviour of the animals.
1.6Vehicles and containers must be designed, constructed and maintained as appropriate to the physical, psychological and biological needs of the species and/or individual animal to be transported.
1.7All animal transport journeys must be planned to be as short as possible in terms of the time travelled.
1.8Animals must be provided with sufficient food, water and rest before, during and after the journey, according to their physical and biological needs.
1.9Animals must be protected from adverse weather conditions during transportation and all journeys must be planned to avoid extreme weather conditions.
1.10Where applicable, all transport of animals must be carried out at the very minimum, in accordance with the Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines - Land Transport of Livestock, the relevant Model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals or the equivalent state or territory code.

(reviewed 24/12/12)

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Updated on December 9, 2020

The policies and positions of the RSPCA referred to on this site represent the guiding principles to which we aspire in fulfilling our various roles. We are committed to giving effect to these principles wherever possible and practical.

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