Friday, 19 July 2013

Advice to farmers, pet and horse owners in this hot weather

High temperatures and humidity, particularly sudden changes in conditions, can pose a major threat to animal welfare.
The following basic advice is to help farmers, transporters, pet owners and others avoid problems.

Those who look after animals must avoid causing them unnecessary suffering (it’s a legal requirement), and must avoid subjecting them to conditions where this is likely to occur.  It is an offence if the welfare of an animal is compromised as a result of a failure to take appropriate action in response to extremes of temperature.

Farmed animals should be provided with adequate shelter and protection in accordance with the law and welfare codes. In hot weather it is particularly important that animals have access to shade and water. Livestock keepers should inspect their animals often and take necessary action to correct any problems.

Those transporting animals, including agricultural animals, should avoid problems in hot weather. Things to consider include:
  • factoring potential weather conditions into the planning of any journey (for example not loading or moving animals during the hottest parts of the day)
  • improved ventilation of the vehicle
  • increased space allowances
  • providing water and electrolytes more frequently
In addition, contingency plans should be in place for every journey, and are particularly important in hot conditions as delays, which might be relatively insignificant under normal conditions, can become critical very quickly.
Don’t forget your pets in hot weather. Make sure they have plenty of water, ventilation and shade from the sun. Dog owners should not leave their pets in the car.
DEFRA Guidelines

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