The Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) has committed to adopting regulations to better protect farm animals on sea vessels traveling to, from and between the Hawaiian Islands, according to an announcement from the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI).
HDOA -- working with local carriers Matson and Young Brothers, representatives from the Hawaii Cattlemen’s Council, veterinarians and other industry experts -- plans to enact administrative rules within two years that include care and transport provisions mirroring federal animal export standards, AWI said. The proposed regulations, which are slated to go into effect following a period of public comment and statewide hearings, would prevent noncompliant shippers from shipping their animals.
“We commend the Hawaii Department of Agriculture for moving to set care and transport standards for the thousands of farm animals — primarily cattle — who are shipped to the mainland and between islands each year,” said Erin Sutherland, farm animal welfare attorney for AWI.
Young Brothers transports animals between the islands, while Matson transports animals between the U.S. mainland and Hawaii.