Since the middle ages, resident butchers have not been able to satisfy the demand for meat in cities and long-distance cattle drives have been common practice from the 13th century. However, a massive increase in the numbers of inhabitants in cities (e.g. a doubling in Vienna and Linz) in the second half of the 19th century made it necessary to increase the numbers of slaughter animals delivered to cities to fulfil the demand for meat. In this period, the driving of animals was replaced by railroad transport. Although faster, transport by rail could still take several days, as the distances from the main regions of animal production in Hungary or from the Romanian-Hungarian border to Vienna were ca. 500 and 1000 km. There was a need for legislation to address the resulting animal welfare issues and the risk of transmission of diseases. The extent of animal transport depended not only on the demand for meat but also on political considerations.