Animal transport

Based on the NHMRC Australian code of practice for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes, 8th Ed, 2013 the AEC recommends the following techniques with regard to the transport of animals.

4.2 Transport of animals

  • 4..2.1 Transportation can cause distress due to confinement, movement, noise and changes in the environment and personnel.
  • 4.2.2 The extent of any distress will depend on the animals' health, temperament, species, age, sex, the number travelling together and their social relationships, the period without food or water, the duration, the mode of transport, environmental conditions, particularly extremes of temperature, and the care given during the journey.
  • 4.2.3 The conditions and duration of the transport must ensure that the health and well-being of the animals are not unduly compromised.
  • 4.2.4 Containers must be escape and escape-proof, there must be adequate nesting or bedding material and animals must be protected from sudden movements and extremes of climate.
  • 4.2.5 Food and water must be provided when necessary.

    4.2.6 Transport by air should be in accord with IATA regulations and domestic transport of livestock must be in accord with the relevant Codes of Practice.

    4.2.7 Both the suppliers and recipients of animals must ensure that there are satisfactory delivery procedures, with animals received by a responsible person.

4.3 Admission of new animals into holding areas

  • .3.1 When new animals are being admitted into animal holding areas, they should be quarantined and inspected by a qualified person. Their health should be evaluated, treatment instigated if required, and their suitability for the proposed studies assessed. This period should allow their acclimatisation to the holding facility and staff.
  • 4.3.2 Animals which do not adapt satisfactorily to their new environment should not be kept.

5.5 Transport (Wildlife)

  • 5.5.1 Wildlife are particularly susceptible to transport stress and all reasonable steps must be taken to minimise that stress. The general principles for transport detailed in section 4.2 of this Code apply, and particular reference should be made to the wildlife section of the IATA regulations.
  • 5.5.2 Stress during transport can be minimised by:
    (i) appropriate size, design and construction of transport containers;
    (ii) limiting exposure to extremes of temperature, noise, visual disturbance and vibration;
    (iii) providing, if appropriate for the species, an inner shelter within the transport container;
    (iv) ensuring that animals are separated where there is incompatibility of species, age, size, sex or reproductive status;
    (v) preventing unnecessary handling; and
    (vi) administering tranquillisers