The transportation of livestock to, from and within Florida can be fraught with misunderstanding, notes Neil G Pansey. Keeping livestock animals safe and clean is necessary not only when these animals are at their home or exhibition locations, notes Neil G Pansey, but also when they are in traveling interstate or intrastate.
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services regulates the entry of many livestock and poultry breeds and most exotic species into Florida, and into shows and exhibitions in the state. Animals imported into Florida for exhibition purposes, notes Neil G Pansey, require an Official Certificate of Veterinary Inspection issued by a veterinarian accredited in the state of origin. Neil G Pansey is aware that any animal which is suspected of having or showing clinical signs of dangerous transmissible, contagious or infectious disease on visual inspection, or any animal which is known to be exposed to such diseases must be immediately withdrawn from exhibition and returned to the place of origin, examined by a Florida-licensed and USDA-accredited veterinarian at the owner’s expense. Emerging costs such as these, stressed Neil G Pansey, can result in poor or reduced profits for the owner.
According to Neil G Pansey, many different mammalian species are often placed on the roads in Florida, and specific requirements apply for different species. For example, goats moved intrastate for any purpose must be officially identified to their flock or herd of birth. Means of identification include tattoos and implanted electronics, according to Neil G Pansey. All poultry or domestic fowl entered for exhibition must originate from Pullorum-Typhoid clean flocks or hatcheries or have evidence of a negative pullorum-typhoid test within 90 days prior to exhibition. Breeding swine returning to the farm from exhibitions must be isolated from other swine at least 30 days before being returned to the herd. Breeding swine for exhibition must be maintained in isolation between exhibitions or move directly between exhibitions. Neil G Pansey stresses that deer, elk, moose, caribou, reindeer and related species that are raised or maintained in captivity for the production of meat and other agricultural products, for sport, or for exhibition must also be carefully monitored for safe road transport in Florida.
Persons that transport livestock for hire require permits, as Neil G Pansey is aware. Motorists in Florida such as Neil G Pansey should be recognize hazards common with livestock trucks, such as slow moving vehicles and the potential animal waste. Maintaining livestock transport vehicles in good condition can promote efficient travel, keep other motorists safe and make life more comfortable for the animals in transit. Neil G Pansey commented on the importance of good housekeeping and cleanliness in all areas of the vehicle for the welfare of the animals. The animals should be kept a safe distance away from vehicle fuel and any other goods being transported. When transporting different species on a single vehicle, means of segregation should be provided, and ingress and egress of the different animals should be done separately in order to keep the animals calm on and immediately after their journey. Adequate food and water should be provided to the animals, notes Neil G Pansey, as well as planned rest breaks for trips over 4 hours. Consideration must also be paid to the safe and efficient movement of animals from their transport vehicles to and from their temporary or exhibit locations. If an animal contracts an adverse condition while walking to a temporary location, the condition could be spread back to other sharing the same transport vehicle. Changing conditions, notes Neil G Pansey, can result in discomfort to animals and time required to adapt prior to extensive interaction with unfamiliar humans.
The different characteristics of livestock must be taken in to consideration when they are transported, notes Neil G Pansey. This applies not only to species, but also breeds and even the preferences of individual animals. It has been made clear to Neil G Pansey that by persistently preparing and performing the proper procedures for livestock transport results in a mutually beneficial outcome for both mankind and the universe of livestock often found in and around Florida.