A pressing problem for animal welfare during transport is the current practice of successive individual transports, which counteracts efforts from single actors to comply with European legislation.
The EU has a large population of farm animals. In 2018, EU herds counted 87 million bovine animals, 147 million pigs, some 100 million sheep and goats, 290 million laying hens as well as other types of animals, from rabbits to horses. Most of these animals are transported during their lifetime. In most cases, it is primarily domestic transport, i.e. transport from the farm to the slaughterhouse or from one farm to another for production reasons (such as calves transported to cattle-fattening farms). In some cases, live animals are transported from farm to market to farm for trading reasons. This happens in both intra-EU trade and with EU imports and exports to or from third countries, with the EU being the main exporter and the distances travelled can vary a lot.