Full Statute Name:  NORMA Oficial Mexicana NOM-051-ZOO-1995, Trato humanitario en la movilización de animales.

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Primary Citation:  Nom 051-Zoo-1995 Country of Origin:  Mexico Last Checked:  October, 2023 Date Adopted:  1998 Historical: 
Summary: This law lays out the general criteria for animal transportation and handling, with additional provisions based on the species. Its objective is to define the framework for animal transportation, aiming to reduce suffering throughout the entire transport process.

Norma Oficial Mexicana Nom 051-Zoo-1995, Trato humanitario en la movilización de animals in Spanish) establishes the general requirements for the transportation and handling of animals and additional requirements depending on the species. It seeks to set the parameters of the animal transportation system with the purpose of diminishing suffering during the transportation process.

This law defines animals as organic beings that live, feel, and move voluntarily or by instinct. Some of the general provisions include the prohibition to deprive animals of food and water prior to being transported; the prohibition against transporting animals that cannot stand on their own, that are sick, injured, or fatigued, unless it is an emergency case or the animals has to be transported to receive medical treatment. Young animals that depend on their mothers for food and care cannot be transported unless they are with their moms.

In the case of ectothermic species such as invertebrates, amphibians, and reptiles, precautions to facilitate ventilation and maintenance of animals in temperatures close to the optimal range for each case must be taken. Endotherms such as birds and mammals shall not be transported in extreme weather conditions.

Other provisions include the handling of animals during transportation, requirements for vehicles, kennels, and cages, and the loading of animals. The requirements and recommendations on the time for transportation according to the species are as follows:

  • The transportation period for domestic birds should not be longer than 12 hours. Rest periods are not recommended during the transportation of birds. There are no benefits.
  • It is not recommended to transport newborn chicks for periods longer than 16 hours.
  • The transportation period for cattle should not exceed 18 hours without rest and without giving them drinking water.
      • Rest periods without unloading livestock during land travel must be at least 3 hours and in accordance with sections 4.2.13. and 4.2.14. of this Standard.
      • In the case of transportation longer than 24 hours, food must be offered to the animals in addition to breaks every 18 hours.
      • Cows in production or recently calved must be milked every 12 hours.
  • In the case of pregnant cows within the first two-thirds of gestation and Calves up to 6 months of age, they should be transported for at most 8 hours without rest or offering them water and food.
  • The transportation period for sheep and goats should not exceed 18 hours without rest periods and without watering the animals.
      • Rest periods without unloading livestock during land travel must be at least 2 hours and in accordance with sections 4.2.13 and 4.2.14 of this Standard.
      • Lambs and kids must receive water and food every 8 hours during periods of movement.
  • The transportation period for pigs should not exceed 20 hours.
      • The period of mobilization without rest should not exceed 8 hours.
      • Rest periods will be completed at least every 8 hours with the animals inside the vehicle, parking it under the shade for periods that will not exceed 1 hour.
  • Equines must be transported for a maximum of 18 hours, followed by an 8-hour rest period, preferably in appropriate facilities.
  • If the mobilization is longer, the horses must travel for periods of up to 12 hours, allowing stops every 6 hours, lasting one hour, to provide them with food and water.
  • Dogs and cats should not remain without food for more than 24 hours during transportation periods.
  • In the case of transportation for more than 6 hours, a receptacle containing drinking water must be firmly fixed to the inside of the cage. The shape and material of the container must prevent the water from emptying and the animal from getting hurt.
  • In the case of crocodiles, lizards, alligators, and gharials, it is not required to feed adult animals during mobilizations of less than 72 hours. The maximum fast for babies and developing animals must be 24 hours.
  • Large or racing birds such as ostrich, emu, rhea, and cassowaries are only required to be given food if the transportation is 24 hours maximum. If it lasts longer, a feeder and waterer must be inside the container to offer water and food.
  • Non-human primates must be given water and food as often as required. On trips longer than 8 hours, it is generally necessary.
  • Carnivorous terrestrial mammals that travel for up to 24 hours are not required to be given food and water, except for growing animals or small species that need water. Still, if the transport lasts longer, they will always be offered food and water.

The owner of the animals, as well as the person or transportation company, are responsible for complying with the rules set forth in this law. The enforcing authority under this law is the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Rural Development and the State Governments. The General Directorate of Animal Health, as well as the State Delegations of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Rural Development and the State Governments, have the responsibility of implementing the provisions outlined in this law within the scope of their respective responsibilities and territorial jurisdictions.

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