REVIEW: Transportation of commercial finished cattle and animal welfare considerations

Sarah J. Schuetze, Erin F. Schwandt, Ronaldo G. Maghirang, Daniel U. Thomson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The purpose of the following report was to review and present the literature focused on the topic of current industry practices of land transport of finished cattle, primarily within the United States and Canada. This review was broken down into 5 areas: (1) microclimate, (2) loading density, (3) duration of transport, (4) quality of transport, and (5) animal behavior. All of these factors play a role in animal welfare and have been shown to influence post-transport animal health and carcass quality. Certain stressors such as loading density and duration are more understood than others and are easier to manipulate, whereas other stressors, such as microclimate and human factors, require more research to fully understand the magnitude and interactions of the stressors and how to address them. Improving the overall transport process ensures the safety and well-being of the animal and the quality of the carcass, providing both an ethical and economic benefit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)509-519
Number of pages11
JournalProfessional Animal Scientist
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • animal welfare
  • carcass quality
  • finished cattle
  • transport

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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