The times spent in transport and lairage by 124,036 lambs slaughtered in two plants in the south of England were recorded. About half of them travelled for up to 120 km, taking up to four hours, and three-quarters travelled not more than 300 km, the journeys taking up to about six hours. Bimodal frequency distributions of lairage time were apparent; overall one third of the lambs spent up to four hours in lairage but more than 40 per cent were kept for longer than 14 hours, while they were held overnight. Early season lambs tended to travel shorter distances to slaughter and spent less time in lairage than late season lambs. The average total times spent in transit and lairage were 22.3 hours and 13.3 hours at the two plants.
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