The European Commission-funded project CATRA (CAttle TRAnsport), presented today [Tuesday] in Brussels, calls for improvements in cattle transportation.

The study followed and monitored cattle on a series of journeys throughout Europe. The Commission said stressful transport conditions adversely affect not only animal welfare but also meat quality, and have a negative impact on consumer protection.

According to the study, the transport logistics chain has to be reviewed. Not only transport times, but also road quality, climate and vehicle design have to be taken into consideration. Loading and unloading standards also have to be improved and relevant EU legislation has to be implemented.

“The EU is doing its share to improve cattle transport conditions”, said European Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin. “Avoiding needless animal suffering is in industry’s own interest: the quality of its product can be seriously affected by substandard transportation. This is why EU research not only studies cattle transportation, but also aims to support policy-making towards improved and cost-effective animal welfare, whilst safeguarding consumer protection.”