An animal-welfare monitoring and humane-labeling group announced it will convene a panel of experts to develop improved welfare standards for design, technology and monitoring of livestock transportation.
American Humane said its program will recognize manufacturers of livestock-transport farm equipment that meet the standards with an American Humane Gold Award.
Called American Humane Certified, the program will begin monitoring the research and testing of a new "humanely designed" trailer built by Advanced Livestock Transport (ALT), a company based in Spain.
ALT has imported its first trailer into the United States for introduction to the American pork industry. ALT is the first transport company to sell farm equipment in North America that complies with European Union regulations on animal welfare, the group said.
Texas Tech University will study ALT's transport trailers for the rates of dead-on-arrival, non-ambulatory and non-injured pigs compared to other transportation equipment designs.
ALT has engineered temperature controls designed to reduce the rate of dead and downed pigs. The research is expected to be completed and published by late 2009.