Animal welfare inspections based on sampling 2015

In 2015, planned sampling-based animal welfare inspections were ordered to be carried out on 411 farms with production animals (355 in 2014). 342 farms were inspected, from which 304 had animals at the moment of inspection.  The reports on non-compliance only concerned farms where there were animals. Non-compliance with the animal welfare regulations was reported on 23 per cent of the inspected farms, which is somewhat same than in the previous year. The inspection results showed distinct differences for different species. Violations that would have required urgent measures to be carried out in order to ensure the welfare of the animals were not noted.

Cattle

Inspections were carried out on a total of 181 cattle farms. Violations were discovered on 23 per cent of the farms, which is same percentage than in 2014.

Nearly 44 % of the violations concerned calves (in 2014 almost 40 %), of which the most common violations have remained the same from one year to the next and concerned mainly the requirements for space, cleanliness and safety on the holding. The group pens were not always spacious enough per animal, and calves over the permitted age were held in individual pens. The spaces and equipment were not sufficiently clean, disinfected and safe, and not all calves had a clean and dry area to sleep on.  Also violations related to watering or feeding were observed.

The most common violations concerning cattle over six months of age also concerned the cleanliness and requirements for space on the holding. On 13 % of inspected cattlefarms the cattle didn’t have a clean and dry place to lie down. Violations of the watering and feeding requirements were observed on 8 % of the farms. As in previous years, inadequate hoof care was a problem on several farms. Improvement from the previous years was that only on two farms cows and heifers were kept tied up could not go out to pasture or into an exercise area.  Most of the violations observed with both calves and adult cattle were directly related to factors that affected the welfare of the animals, as the proportion of all the non-compliances involving the recording of the health care or of the number of dead animals was less than 4 %.

Pigs

A total of 35 pig farms were inspected. Non-compliance with the animal welfare regulations was discovered on 20 per cent of the inspected farms, which is less than the year before (29 %).

There were on average 1,9 breaches per farm. Breaches were discovered on lack of stimulating materials (3/35), concerning mainly sows kept in crates. Other occasional non-compliances were mainly related to the cleanliness, lighting, suitable temperature, safety on the holding and to the feeding of the pigs kept in groups. Unlike in previous years, inadequate recordkeeping was not observed.

Laying hens

A total of 6 poultry farms with more than 350 laying hens were inspected. No negligence was found on any of the inspected poultry farms.

Broilers

A total of nine broiler farms were inspected, from which 2 had non-compliances. Breaches were related to stocking density, lighting and success on killing of the animals.

Fur animals

24 fur farms were inspected, and shortcomings were found on eleven of these (48 %). In three previous years non-compliances have been observed on 25-54% of inspected farms. The non-compliances observed have remained relatively same throughout the years. Most common omission was structural defects in cages, such as worn places in the fox cage bottom mesh and its plastic coating. Also lack of chewing and enrichment material was a common omission. Unlike in previous years, inadequate recordkeeping was observed only at one farm.

Sheep and goats

A total of 35 sheep farms were inspected, and breaches were found on 6 of these (17%). On four farms medicine record keeping was the only omission observed.  Other non-compliances were related to care of sick animals and space requirements. No violations were observed on 8 inspected goat farms.

Ducks and geese

A total of seven duck and goose holdings were inspected. Non-compliances on cleanliness, watering and record keeping were observed on one duck farm.  

Inspected farms and percentage of violations 2001-2015

Number of inspected farms and observed omissions by animal species