A study by Murdoch University on behavioural responses of sheep during short-term transport showed that sheep exhibit a range of behavioural expression in response to land transport which can be assessed by naive (untrained) observers. Previous studies have showed that behavioural differences reflected changes typically associated with stress.
Now, this study was only performed early in transport so conclusions cannot be drawn for long transport, sea transport etc. But what it does show, is that normal untrained people have the ability to accurately assess animal welfare. So all those silly "townies" who get distressed watching sheep trucks rolling into Fremantle Port with crushed sheep, legs hanging out everywhere, distorted awkward body positions may have a point after all....! What a surprise.....
Reference Collins T. Behavioural responses of sheep during short term transport. Proceedings of the AVA Annual Conference, Perth 2014, pp21-24