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Author Topic: Moving pigs in a van??  (Read 7848 times)


  • Joined Dec 2014
  • Flintshire, North Wales
Moving pigs in a van??
« on: May 03, 2015, 06:29:21 am »
I am self employed so we have vans not cars or 4x4s, so buying a trailer just to move pigs to the abattoir seems a waste of money. We use the vans to transport everything we need, we moved into our new place 6 months ago and have moved everything with our two vans including 45 chickens and five dogs.
So I'm thinking that I could build a crate with ramp and side gates as a self contained unit that I can put in the back of my Fiat LWB Ducato van using the loader on my Fordson Major when required . Imagine a trailer without the chassis & wheels. I've costed the materials needed and believe I can build it for about 150, I make most things myself so have all the tools needed.

But, I have some questions:

1. Ventilation? There are no windows to open in the back, would this be a problem? I can install a roof vent but have seen RSPCA vans that have no roof ventilation and are used for transporting animals? Our local vet has two vans they use and they don't have visible vents also.
2. Has anyone done or seen similar?
3. Am I missing something??



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  • Joined Sep 2012
  • Llandeilo Carmarthenshire
    • Nantygroes
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Re: Moving pigs in a van??
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2015, 08:16:54 am »
not an expert but what about being able to hose down inside the van?    Ventilation would definitely be needed

Don't wrestle with pigs, they will love it and you will just get all muddy.

Let go of who you are and become who you are meant to be.
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Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Moving pigs in a van??
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2015, 11:00:21 am »
I've had folks pick up weaners using a dog crate in the back of an estate car for a short journey but an unventilated van that can't be washed out is a whole different ball game.  How would you contain the urine and dung in a wooden crate?  Some of our pigs have vomited when being transported to the abattoir.  Our abattoir has a vet supervising unloading - I imagine such a set up would cause some comment, at the very least.

Victorian Farmer

  • Guest
Re: Moving pigs in a van??
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2015, 01:57:06 pm »
Could be done ,I would make a two crate not to heavey board 1 foot up so straw could be used two 3/2 handles and a sledge bottom so it could be pulled out .Thick rope round there neck and a ply middle .So 2 people could pull it out and then walk the pigs in whith rope harness .Leave widows open not a problem .


  • Joined Feb 2010
  • Anglesey
Re: Moving pigs in a van??
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2015, 01:59:49 pm »
There are rules and regulations regarding livestock transport which I'm sure someone will be along in a minute to tell us about. At the abattoir we use I've seen pigs and sheep arrive in a van and also in the back of an estate car. They are pretty easy going and turn a blind eye but a lot probably wouldn't.


  • Joined Aug 2010
  • leslie, fife
  • i have chickens, sheep and opinions!!!
Re: Moving pigs in a van??
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2015, 02:08:39 pm »
the final decision will belong to the abattoir you're planning to use, best to call them and ask...


  • Joined Dec 2014
  • Flintshire, North Wales
Re: Moving pigs in a van??
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2015, 04:31:52 pm »
Okay thanks,

My van is lined with vinyl, similar to dog run walls in vets, so cleaning is not an issue. I can jet wash it without issue, I will put some roof vents in though.

I think calling the abattoir as bloomer suggested is the next thing before going any further.



  • Joined Nov 2009
  • East Sussex
    • OaklandsPigs
Re: Moving pigs in a van??
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2015, 06:26:58 pm »
Comes under EU regulation 1/2005 "on the protection of animals during transport and related operations "

If you are putting a crate inside the vehicle then :

Chapter II
1. Provisions for all means of transport
1.1. Means of transport, containers and their fittings shall be designed, constructed, maintained and operated so as to:
(a) avoid injury and suffering and to ensure the safety of the animals;
(b) protect the animals from inclement weather, extreme temperatures and adverse changes in climatic conditions;
(c) be cleaned and disinfected;
(d) prevent the animals escaping or falling out and be able to withstand the stresses of movements;
(e) ensure that air quality and quantity appropriate to the species transported can be maintained;
(f) provide access to the animals to allow them to be inspected and cared for;
(g) present a flooring surface that is anti-slip;
(h) present a flooring surface that minimises the leakage of urine or faeces;
(i) provide a means of lighting sufficient for inspection and care of the animals during transport.
1.2. Sufficient space shall be provided inside the animals' compartment and at each of its levels to ensure that there is adequate ventilation above the animals when they are in a naturally standing position, without on any
account hindering their natural movement.
1.4. Partitions shall be strong enough to withstand the weight of animals. Fittings shall be designed for quick and easy operation.
1.5. Piglets of less than 10 kgs shall be provided with appropriate bedding material or equivalent material which guarantees their comfort appropriate to the species, the number of animals being transported, the journey time, and the weather. This material has to ensure adequate absorption of urine and faeces.
2. Additional provisions for transport by road or rail
2.1. Vehicles in which animals are transported shall be clearly and visibly marked indicating the presence of live animals, except when the animals are transported in containers marked in accordance with paragraph 5.1.
2.2. Road vehicles shall carry suitable equipment for loading and unloading.
5. Additional provisions for transport in containers
5.1. Containers in which animals are transported shall be clearly and visibly marked, indicating the presence of live animals and with a sign indicating the top of the container.
5.2. During transport and handling, containers shall always be kept upright and severe jolts or shaking shall be minimised.  Containers shall be secured so as to prevent displacement due to the movement of the means of transport.
5.3. Containers of more that 50 kg shall be equipped with a sufficient number of adequately designed, positioned and maintained securing points enabling them to be securely fastened to the means of transport where they are to be loaded. Containers shall be secured to the means of transport before the start of the journey to prevent displacement due to the motion of the means of transport.

Key points would be

ventilation - so make sure crate has plenty of ventilation slats at the top, and if transporting with windows open and not in middle of day in summer.  Early morning for Abattoir is best anyway.

Construction to prevent leakage - so lip at the front.

be cleaned and disinfected - highly critical.  A wooden crate with wood inside might not be deemed to pass the test, so you would need it lined in some form to give a cleansible surface.

Ramp and sidegates essential

Chapter III
1.4. (a) Ramps shall not be steeper than an angle of 20 degrees, that is 36,4 % to the horizontal for pigs. Where the slope is steeper than 10 degrees, that is 17,6 % to the horizontal, ramps shall be fitted with a system, such as provided by foot battens, which ensure that the animals climb or go down without risks or difficulties;

So you'll need to pay attention to how big your ramp is, you may need to create a folding one to fit it in !

Chapter III
2. During transport

2.6. Sufficient ventilation shall be provided to ensure that the needs of the animals are fully met taking into account in particular the number and type of the animals to be transported and the expected weather conditions during the journey. Containers shall be stored in a way which does not impede their ventilation.

So make sure crate has plenty of ventilation slates at the top, and transporting with windows open and not in middle of day in summer.  Early morning for Abattoir is best anyway.

The above are just the key points I think you would need to consider of this regulation which is 44 pages of small text !  If in doubt suggest you make some strong coffee and go to  and put in  year 2005 document 1

Your abattoir can put any other rules in place that it wishes - quite simply if you want to do business with them you have to comply with whatever terms of business they want, so Bloomers point about talking to the abattoir is key

Finally it is up to to the State Veterinary Service (SVS) who are supposed to be in charge of animal welfare at the Abattoir who may  deem your transport unsuitable.  They have powers to condemn your animal if not transported legally, in which case it is killed and carcass disposed of - you get a bill for killing and disposal from the abattoir, no pig and possible prosecution.  However many SVS never come out of their offices as the paperwork for the job makes it impossible to actually do the job - ticking the boxes takes precedence over any actual real welfare, and the risk if you have make a good effort to comply is very small.

Don't be put off by all the above, just go in with your eyes open, and knowing that most officialdom likes the easy answer which is a proper livestock trailer so they don't have to think too hard !

Have fun
« Last Edit: May 03, 2015, 06:29:22 pm by oaklandspigs »
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  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Moving pigs in a van??
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2015, 07:42:50 am »
Buy an old trailer ply the sides so high then slats make a drop tailgate problem solved proberly the same price an your van won't stink to high heaven of pigs for 6 months haha


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