DENVER –The inaugural meeting of the Humane Livestock Transportation Council was recently held at the American Humane Association’s national headquarters in Denver. American Humane Certified, A.H.A.’s farm animal welfare program, convened the meeting. The council includes 25 animal science and welfare professionals, leading equipment manufacturers, engineers and industry representatives.

Existing industry guidelines for livestock transport, transport issues relative to animal welfare and future trends in U.S. livestock transportation were discussed by the council. During the meeting, committees were named and timelines developed for critical paths leading to the development of animal welfare standards and best practices, as well as humane training programs.

"This initial meeting highlighted the need for consistent and integrated welfare standards in the livestock transportation industry," said Tim Amlaw, A.H.C. director. "Various trade groups are currently working on animal-welfare issues in transportation. The council will incorporate that work and hopefully bring all parties to consensus on an effective and practical set of standards for humane livestock transportation in the U.S. Development of humane training for all employees in the industry will be an integral part of the council’s work."

A.H.A. research on equipment design and technology, as well as research on monitoring livestock in transport, will continue. There will also be frequent meetings with the committees using a dedicated Humane Livestock Transportation Council website.

A.H.A .said American Humane Certified is the first animal-welfare program in the U.S. dedicated to the humane treatment of farm animals. It added it is also the fastest-growing, independent, animal-welfare label program in the U.S.