Importance of Poultry Handling & Transportation

Livestock and Poultry transport is one of the most critical and visible components of the farmed animal production system and stakeholders want assurances that transport is done with animal welfare in mind.

Poultry welfare is everyone’s responsibility. Part of this responsibility is
to ensure that each person involved in the handling and transportation
of poultry has been made aware of requirements and best practices to
ensure proper care of poultry during transport.

This includes farmers, catchers, truck drivers, processor procurement, plant workers, and the management of all companies along the supply chain.

Willful acts of abuse are not tolerated and are punishable by law.
• Everyone involved in handling and transporting poultry must accept the
responsibility of humane handling and minimizing stress to the birds
during catching, loading, transporting, unloading and processing.

• The actions of farmers, catchers, transporters and unloaders have a
direct impact on both the physical and mental well-being of birds.

• Improper catching, handling, and loading practices create distress
and may cause injury to the birds. Workers who are careful and
conscientious can reduce potential injuries.

Proper handling and transportation of poultry will:
– improve the well-being of poultry by reducing handling and transport stress;
– address customer/societal concerns and regulatory oversight (e.g. company reputation, retail audit requirements, government regulations, etc.); and,
– have positive financial implications for the poultry handling, transportation and processing sectors (e.g. minimize mortalities, maximize yields, protect meat quality, shelf life, etc.), and safeguard product integrity (e.g. food safety, etc.).

Some Tips during Transportation-

• Weather permitting, clean and sanitize the interior and exterior
of the vehicle (including the trunk if applicable).

• The floor mats, steering wheel, and bucket and brush used for
boot cleanup should also be disinfected. Use rubber floor mats,
which are easy to remove, wash, and sanitize.

• Wipe down hard surfaces using clean water and soap first,
apply a sanitizer/disinfectant, and then allow it to dry. No visible
feathers, dust, manure or dirt should remain.

• Pay special attention to cleaning organic material from the
vehicle’s tires.

• After being washed, trucks should be sprayed and soaked with a
disinfectant. The disinfectant should have adequate contact time
with surfaces.

• Clean and sanitize other equipment used on the farm, such as scales, computer, chains, panels, etc.

• Poultry containers and loaders should be free of all manure, feathers, egg debris, and other dirt before leaving for the next job.

• Dollies and carts may be washed and disinfected on the truck, or disinfected off the truck and placed back on the vehicle. Both methods can be successful, but it is better to wash poultry dollies and carts individually off the truck, and to clean and disinfect the truck interior and exterior before reloading the dollies or carts. The more automated the
system, the better the chance for consistent, reliable results.

• Use separate equipment to move end of lay fowl and pullets if possible. If this is not possible, be sure to take extra precautions when cleaning and disinfecting equipment. If transporting end of lay fowl, wait at least a full day (preferably more) before using the same equipment to move pullets.

• Wash and disinfect catching gates with water and detergent and a recommended disinfectant. The preference is for each farmer to have their own gates.

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