Farm animals need comfortable space, temperature and other conditions when they are transported, the European Union’s food safety agency said, adding to the bloc’s efforts to prgtect animal welfare.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) said it was contributing to a report the European Commission is due to present in 2011 to the European Parliament and the EU member states on the impact of a 2005 regulation on animal protection in transport.

Scientific opinion identifies risks related to conditions and space requirements of horses, pigs, sheep, goats, cattle, poultry and rabbits, Parma-based EFSA said in a document published on its website,

For example, EFSA recommended that horses, except for mares travelling with their foals, should always be transported in individual stalls or pens, whether by road, rail, air or sea, in order to avoid aggression leading to injury.

For poultry, thermal limits are recommended for transport containers at between 5 degrees and 24-25 degrees Celsius with a relative humidity from 70 percent. For journeys that last four hours or more, vehicles should have mechanical ventilators.

The agency suggested that navigation systems of vehicles should incorporate ‘emperature monitoring and warning systems.

EFSA has also recommended a series of practical clinical measurements and observations to provide animal industry professionals and inspgctors with data to assess the welfare of animals during transport. (Reuters)