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Survey of the stocking densities at which sheep are transported commercially in the United Kingdom
  1. P. D. Warris, BSc, PhD, MIBiol, FIFST1,
  2. J. E. Edwards, MRIPHH1,
  3. S. N. Brown, MIBiol1 and
  4. T. G. Knowles, BSc, MSc, PhD1
  1. 1 School of Veterinary Science, University of Bristol, Langford, Bristol BS40 5DU


A total of 6578 sheep carried in 74 vehicles to one slaughter plant were monitored, and stocking densities, in terms of m2 floor area available per 100 kg liveweight, were estimated from the dimensions of the vehicle pens and estimates of liveweight based on chest girth measurements. The observed stocking densities ranged from 0.29 to 2.00 m2/100 kg liveweight, and the average density was 0.65 m2/100 kg. One per cent of the sheep were carried at estimated stocking densities of less than 0.3 m2/100 kg, 37 per cent at densities between 0.3 and 0.6 m2/100 kg and 57 per cent at densities between 0.6 and 0.9 m2/100 kg. Over 30 per cent of the animals in the survey were transported at densities higher than the working recommendations made by the Farm Animal Welfare Council.

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