Seeing this item:

"June 19 ~ A recently completed EU project has called for urgent action to improve the conditions for cattle transport in Europe "

- my comment is that the best way to improve conditions for cattle transport is not to transport them. 
 
Closed herds of cattle and closed flocks of sheep don't involve the transport of animals from distant places - and don't import diseases like bovine TB and so on.  Whenever you bring stock onto your farm, you bring in new disease problems.  The new animals are sure to carry bacteria, parasites, viruses etc. which your own animals don't have - and the new animals aren't as resistant to what is available locally as your own animals.  You can try to ameliorate this by quarantine (which might help deal with the former, but not the latter) but it is unquestionably better and safer to avoid bringing in new animals.  
 
The way the British Government treats British farmers acts against this obvious and sensible policy.  The  indiscriminate slaughter carried out in the name of controlling FMD destroyed closed herds and flocks indiscriminately.  If these home bred animals were replaced, new animals had to be transported in.  The result has been the spread of all sorts of minor diseases -and. of course, bovine TB.  The same will happen when, in October, the new EU directive concerning scrapie is twisted and used by our DEFRA to enable the mass slaughter of our native breeds of sheep and the further eradication of traditional family farms. 
 
The arrangements for paying for the stock slaughtered in the name of controlling FMD benefited farmer-dealers who trade and transport animals and damaged, in many cases terminally, the smaller family farms who were trying to run sustainable home bred herds and flocks.  (For example, a large scale farmer-dealer near us, engineered, by mixing his flocks, that all his sheep were killed.  I wondered about this at the time.  I have since heard that the sheep slaughtered had been bought-in for about #8.00 per ewe.  He was paid something in the order of #80.00 per ewe when they were slaughtered.  He could use his profit to buy more land and import some more cheap sheep.  Our own sheep are all home bred in a closed flock.  If our sheep had been killed we would have received payment on a similar scale of - say #80.00 per head.  Replacements of similar sheep would have cost us at least #120.00 per head - and until we had been able to replace them we would have had to live without any income.  The Winslades, who lost their home bred herd must have been affected in this way.  The result of this process throughout British agriculture, has been to selectively cripple the sustainable family farms who don't use mass long distant transport of animals and to assist the agribusinesses that rely on mass long distance transport.  The spin machine gives the public the impression that government policy is to encourage sustainable farming and organic farming.  Government actions do the opposite.
 
And the closure of so many of the small abattoirs in Britain has meant that animals have to travel further and further for slaughter.  British interpretation of the EU directives were used to make it impossibly uneconomic to run small local abattoirs.  Deliberate policy, which happened to suit the supermarkets and large scale agribusiness interests, was used to deprive farmers of the opportunity to have their own animals killed locally for sale in farmer's markets and High Street craft butcher's shops - and the effect has been to force the long distance transport of animals.
 
It is all very well to attend to welfare of stock when being transported - but animals are better not transported at all.  A genuine attempt to implement a truly sustainable policy for agriculture and food should look to removing the need for the mass long distance transport of animals.
 
Lawrence