In 2009 and 2010, Eyes on Animals sent numerous reports of their observations in the field of cattle trucks where the cattle did not have adequate headroom. The ceilings were so low that animals on board had difficulty standing up in a natural position and risked injuring their backs.
The Dutch Ministry of Agriculture requested Dr. Lambooij from Wageningen research centre to conduct a study on the value of headspace to cattle-welfare during transport. Today we were invited to the VWA office in Utrecht to hear Dr. Lambooij’s research results and to discuss with the cattle industry and the officials what steps were now necessary to take. According to the study, cattle need more than 20cm of space above their shoulders in order to stand in a natural position and have free movement of their heads. The policy advisors present are going to pass this info on to the secretary of state, so that hopefully in the future cattle will be given more headspace than the current practice of just 10cm.