Issue 5 2018 - Freight Business Journal

Winged creatures – transporting animals by air

As the old actor’s saying has it: ‘Never work with children or animals’. But there are many in the freight industry who seem to positively thrive on doing something out of the ordinary.

The ABC of animal transport Top tips for a trouble-free trip

General director of AirBridgeCargo Airlines, Sergey Lazarev, says that in the last 3-5 years the carrier has moved an annual volume of live animals totalling 135,000 tonnes, with the major part of from North America. Around 20% are livestock and bloodstock animals. However, he points out: “Animal

transportation cannot be classified as a regular traffic in the same terms as general cargo. Normally animals are shipped under certain circumstances – for breeding or zoo transportation. For the last couple of years, we have seen an increase both in livestock and bloodstock, with ad-hoc deliveries of horses, cows or pigs under special programmes. Of course, there is regular traffic of certain animals during specific events - for example horse races or breeding programmes - but there are a lot of ad-hoc requests.” He adds that ABC has operated charter

several flights from

Shannon in 2017 and 2018 for bloodstock programmes. The choice of freighter aircraſt

used for animal charters depends on a number of factors, depending on the routing and points of origin and destination - if the airports can handle Boeing 747 or Boeing 737 freighters and the volume is suitable, ABC opts for these aircraſt. In other cases, it can depend on the species which can influence temperature settings, inflight environment or the need for special cages. Other factors are the total

weight of animal(s) and whether there is the possibility to load

transportation.” In principle, ABC and its sister

carrier VDA will transport animals from any airport that the customer demands. However: “We always check the airport for compliance with the required conditions for transportation of the particular animal. If the airport is not suitable due to lack of facilities or special handling, we search for other options and offer them to the customer. We always make transportation for every animal comfortable not only on board but through the whole process.” In the UK, customers’ airports of choice have always been Shannon

most importantly, it is required for the well-being of the animals. These rules and standards have been created to achieve unification of transportation process/procedures and achieve the required level of animal safety.” IATA has also issued Addendum

I to the 43rd Edition of the LAR which raises awareness of the illegal trade in wildlife and wildlife products. Most carriers around the world, with ABC and VDA being no exception, have already accepted and strictly follow this. Following the success of its CEIV

standards for pharmaceuticals, IATA has launched a new

special ULDs for comfortable and seamless transportation of animals in accordance with IATA LAR Container requirements. Sergey Lazarev adds: “Not

all freighter aircraſt are equally suitable but it all comes down to the expertise of the carrier’s personnel, because with the right

knowledge, skills, and

experience ABC specialists can organize transportation of any species of animals accepted for air

in Ireland and Stansted in the UK. Luton and East Midlands are second tier choices depending on destination and number of animals involved. Small animals are also regularly imported through Heathrow on belly carriers. Animal transportation is

governed by IATA’s Live Animals Regulations (LAR), which were updated at the end of 2017. Lazarev says: “It is a ’must follow’ rule for all supply chain stakeholders, and

standardized global certification program to improve the safety and welfare of animals travelling by air. The Center of Excellence for

Independent Validators for

Live Animals Logistics (CEIV Live Animals) provides stakeholders across the air cargo supply chain with the assurance that CEIV Live Animals certified companies are operating to the highest standards in the transport of live animals. Lazarev says: “AirBridgeCargo

understands the value and significance of CEIV certification, having been through this process with pharmaceuticals and gaining its certification in 2016. At the moment we are reviewing the possibility for CEIV Live Animals. However it is a complex and continuous process, which requires a lot of preliminary work to be done. Our main goal here is to create a comfortable, unified, and safe ecosystem for animal transportation.” Over the years, ABC has been

working with trusted and reliable ULD suppliers and giving it customers options to rent stalls, crates or kennels, which simplifies the transportation and gives them extra peace of mind. All animals require special

attention and care and transportation of every one poses some challenge to ABC’s specialists. However, creatures such

as pandas, belugas or giraffes require different equipment and conditions. Preliminary work is needed to ensure the shortest possible journeys, for example.

Probably the single greatest issue in the transportation of live animals by air is avoiding stress, writes Tan Chee Hong, chief operating officer at Hong Kong airfreight handling company, Hactl. Stress can be caused by a variety

of factors such as unfamiliar noise and surroundings, excessive delays, and extreme variation in temperature. This can result in fatalities. Hactl’s top tips for animal

shipments are: -Always use a direct routing if

possible to minimise transit times avoid unnecessary handling and waiting during transhipments. -Ensure all health certificates

potential problems such as snub nose dogs (boxers, pugs, bulldogs and Pekinese, for example) which have difficulty in maintaining a normal body temperature in hot weather. At such times their shipment is not recommended.

Physical issues

There are many considerations, and many of these are specific to particular animal types. For example, Hactl uses its dedicated horse handling centre to provide secure containment, and shallow angle ramps for unloading and loading

competition horses to minimize risk of leg injuries. Pets


and export/import documents comply with regulations at origin, transit points and destination. -Ensure the animal being

transported is carried in a container suited to its type, size and weight, and which complies with IATA Live Animal Regulations. -Ensure all animal containers

are securely closed and locked to prevent escape. -Provide a contact who is

available 24 hours, in case of delay or emergency. -Be aware of

any specific

travelling on scheduled passenger flights require setting of suitable hold temperatures. Many shipments, such as large

scale horse events, or rare animals such as polar bears or Arctic foxes necessitate coordination meetings between Hactl and other stakeholders including airlines, and the shipper or consignee, security agents, other ramp handlers and government bodies. Hactl usually cordons off the

route to and from the horse handling

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