The long distance transport of farm animals is an unnecessary and costly practice. There are several reasons why this is an impractical and outdated link in the food chain. The European Union has implemented laws to protect farm animals from long distant travel but the United States lags far behind. The Federal laws in place are usually not enforced leading to high financial costs that are passed on to the public. Because the consumer is a powerful entity the responsibility falls back on them. These costs are not only financial but are health threatening and can result in a long term problem. There are many procedures that can be taken to reverse the long distance transporting of farm animals. By taking these actions it would no longer be profitable for the factory farms to continue and they would be forced into an economic situation that would require them to put more humane practices into effect.
The transporting of farm animals in the United States requires by The 28 Hour Law to stop every 28 hours to allow animals exercise, food, and water however this law is rarely enforced and the United States Department of Agriculture claims that it does not apply to birds. In Wisconsin, WI statute 951.05 regarding the transportation of animals states that no person may transport any animal in or upon any vehicle in a cruel manner. It is not clear if this statue is enforced.
The cost of this long distance transportation of farm animals extends not only to the financial aspect of fuel costs, labor and vehicle maintenance. The health effects on the animals being transported are monumental. The stress factor of being subjected to unfamiliar scents, long duration of no feed, cramped quarters weakens the immune system. It is an ideal situation for the spread of disease and is a serious public health problem.
Information regarding this subject is buried but what is known is that the consumer can solve this problem. First suggestion is that meat, poultry and seafood products are purchased from locally and humanely raised sources. In the event that the products like seafood is not available live in the region then alternative purchases like frozen or canned should be considered. It is also recommended to change eating habits reducing the consumption of meat, fowl and fish in the diet. Purchasing eggs from cage free hens, meat from grass fed beef and local fresh water fish is another alternative. These measures will lower the cost to the consumer, ensure a healthier diet and eventually stop the long distance transport of farm animals.