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Ten Fast Facts about Farmed Animal Transport in the United States

  1. There is effectively no federal regulation of farmed animal transportation in the United States.
  1. The U.S. has on the books a law, known as the 28-Hour Law, requiring that livestock transported across state lines be humanely unloaded into pens for food, water, and at least 5 hours of rest every 28 hours. However this law is rarely, if ever, enforced. Even if the 28-Hour Law were enforced, it would still not be adequate to assure the well-being of transported animals.
  2. Time spent in transit is stressful both physically and mentally for farmed animals. Problems that commonly occur during transport include overcrowding, lack of bedding, lack of opportunities for rest, and exposure to extreme heat or cold.
  3. Poor and abusive handling of animals during loading and unloading and at auctions also increases animal stress, injury, and suffering during the transport process.
  4. According to data from the United States Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service, approximately 0.26 percent of transported pigs die each year as a result of transport — this translates to 260,000 pigs annually.
  5. It has been estimated that 0.08 percent of pigs (or approximately 82,000 pigs) per year transported to market in the U.S. arrive as “fatigued” — out of breath and unable to get off the truck on their own.
  6. The number of pigs being transported over state lines increased from 30 million in 1970 to 50 million in 2001.
  7. In the U.S., it has been estimated that 1 percent of feed lot cattle (or approximately 120,000 cattle) die as a consequence of transport stress.
  8. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the average mortality rate is 12.6 deaths for every 1,000 cattle entering feedlots.
  9. The U.S. exports thousands of pigs, sheep, and horses each year to Mexico for slaughter.

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