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Effects on cattle of transportation by road for up to 31 hours
  1. G. Knowles, BSc, MSc,PhD1,
  2. P. D. Warriss, BSc, PhD,FIBiol, FIFST1,
  3. S. N. Brown, MIBiol1 and
  4. J. E. Edwards, MRIPHH1
  1. 1 School of Veterinary Science, University of Bristol, Langford, Bristol BS40 5DU

Abstract

The physiological and behavioural effects on cattle of transporting them for periods of 14, 21, 26 and 31 hours, including a stop for a rest and drink on the lorry after 14 hours, were studied in 120 transported animals and 48 control animals. The physiological measurements indicated that a journey lasting 31 hours was not excessively physically demanding, but many of the animals chose to lie down after approximately 24 hours. The animals that lay down had higher plasma cortisol levels than those that remained standing. Many animals chose not to drink during the rest stop. Physiological measurements made after the journeys indicated that 24 hours in lairage, with hay and water freely available, allowed the animals to recover substantially, although not completely, irrespective of the journey time.

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