About this Research Topic
For many animals, transport is a psychological and physical stressor that impacts upon their behaviour, performance, health and welfare. New codes governing the transport of animals and their welfare have been issued during the last decade by many countries, including new regulations for horses, pets and wild animals transport by road, ship and aircraft. Some are based upon very limited scientific evidence. Companion animals, including pets and performance horses, are moved more frequently than farm animals, and some of them travel multiple times with the same day. In the case of road transport, they travel mainly for the purposes of companionship, competition or other pleasure activities, whereas travel by ship or aircraft is frequently for commercial purposes. Laboratory animals are often shipped from between facilities mainly for use in research programs in aid of the advancement of human health and wellbeing, but few studies have investigated the implications of transport on their welfare. Zoo animals are often transported from one zoological facility to another for conservation and reproductive purposes, but it is unclear if and to what degree these journeys increase the risk of disease in these animals. Thus transport should be considered as a human related risk for our companion (including horses, dogs, cats), laboratory and zoo animals.
Summative statistics on the movements of any of these animal groups are lacking and the effects of the different types of transport on their health and welfare are still matter of debate. To better inform transport practices and codes, and the debate over the consequences of animal transport, experimental studies, prospective and retrospective studies, survey articles and evidence based reviews are all welcome in this issue. The primary aim of this Research Topic is to educate all people involved with animal transport (owners, stakeholders, caretakers, drivers, veterinarians, and scientists) on transport consequences (health, injury and welfare), regulations and best practices. Since transport stress is multifactorial, of particular interested for this issue are manuscripts that have used a multidisciplinary approach or have applied new technologies to investigate the implications of transport for animal welfare. Animal transport also poses a biosecurity hazard. Consequently, research focusing on the risk of spreading disease due to human facilitated animal movements is also welcome, as are reports of human health problems related to animal transportation.
Keywords: Transport, injury, disease, animal, welfare
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