Animal transport ventilation research

Animal transport ventilation research

Providing a clean source of air for an animal in a towed vehicle is a problem that has been known for many years. Horses, for example, are normally transported to and from competitive racing events in horse floats that are not very well ventilated or are too exposed to harmful exhaust emissions from the towing vehicle.

It is well known that, particularly on long journeys, prolonged exposure to exhaust fumes, soot particles and gases such as carbon monoxide from the towing vehicle and to airborne pollutants from other sources affects the horse and will have a significant detrimental impact on the horse s level of comfort and health, as well as its subsequent competitive performance. This is particularly pronounced on long, straight highways and on windless days, where horse floats travel within an envelope of noxious fumes and suspended particles that blanket the entire roadway.

Horse floats are known to be provided with windows, louvers, or vents, but these are only capable of admitting ambient air with whatever contaminants are present in that ambient air.

The PerformAIr Vent is the first apparatus or method known that can efficiently and reliably filter air entering a horse float.

 There is extensive research demonstrating the effects on inadequate
ventilation on an animal’s welfare during transit. Below are links to
various research papers that outline the growing concern with this

Kentucky Equine Research

Air exchange rate in a horse trailer during road transport

Author: Kentucky Equine Research

Continuous air exchange can prevent overheating and reduce exposure to dust,
bacteria, and mould. Keeping air moving can help to ensure that horses will travel in
reasonable comfort and arrive at their destination in good health.


Horse Transportation and its Implications for Animal Welfare

Author: Kristi Goldmanh

In Australia and around the world, horses are transported on a daily basis, most commonly
byroad or air. Transportation is a stressful event for many of them and this has important
welfare implications.


Standards for the Microclimate inside Animal Transport Road Vehicles

Author: European Commission

The Committee is asked to report on “Standards for forced ventilation for animal transport
vehicles for road journeys of more than eight hours for the bovine, porcine, ovine and
caprine species”


Guide to the ventilation of livestock during transport

Author: Peter Kettlewell, Silsoe Research Institute, Bedford, England

Malcolm Mitchell, Roslin Institute, Edinburgh, Scotland

Eddie Harper, Livestock Transport Consultant, Somerset, England

Within the UK, DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) have funded
research into improving the welfare of farmed animals during road transport. The accompanying
article(s) summarise some of the findings from this research, in particular the importance of
understanding vehicle ventilation and how inadequate ventilation can promote thermal stress in livestock during transport.


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