Inspections of commercial animal transports 2016

In 2016, inspections of 411 commercial animal transports and about 690 000 animals were undertaken. Of the inspected animals 97 % were poultry. Most of the inspections were carried out by official veterinarians in conjunction with the unloading of the animals at the abattoirs. Regional veterinary officers inspected transports on the road and at the point of departure and the documentation for international transports, for example.

Most of the inspections were targeted at cattle, poultry and pig transports. A total of 43 transports lasting over eight hours were inspected. The average duration of the transports was about 3.5 hours and the longest transport lasted for 18 hours. Non-compliances with the animal transport regulations were observed in 37 animal transports in total, which is about 9 % of the inspected vehicles. The number of non-compliances had dropped a little compared to the previous year (10 % in 2015). There were 87 separate non-compliances in total, as several breaches were observed during the same inspection of some of the transports.

Inadequate documentation is still the main problem

The most common non-compliances were mainly the same as in previous years. Most of the individual breaches were related to the requirements for transporter authorisation, the driver’s certificate of competence and transport documentation (51 in total). The second most common non-compliances were related to the condition and safety of the vehicle and the additional requirements for long-distance transports (20 in total). The third most common non-compliances were related to transport practices and space requirements for the animals (10 in total). Non-compliances related to the ability to euthanize injured animals were discovered in five transports. In one transport there were problems as to the requirements for water and feeding, travelling and resting times for the animals. During the inspections no animals were noted that were not fit for transport.

Cattle transports underwent a total of 129 inspections, and 11 of these were transports of young animals being transferred to another farm. Non-compliances were noted in two transports of animals in transfer (18 %) during the inspections. In the one case the certificate of competence was missing and in the other the drinking equipment was inadequate. As to the other cattle transports, non-compliances related to documentation, drinking equipment for the animals, separation of the animals from one another and additional requirements for long transports were noted in seven inspections.

Poultry transports underwent a total of 117 inspections, and two of these involved inadequate documentation and the fact that the transport vehicle did not have the required signage indicating animal transport. In addition to these, one transport was lacking in transport practices as to preventing animals from being injured.

Pig transports underwent a total of 103 inspections, and non-compliances were noted in nine transports. Inadequate documentation was noted in four cases. In two cases the animals were transported too close together. In other cases the vehicle did not have the required signage indicating animal transport and the lighting was insufficient or the condition of the vehicle or the additional requirements for long transports were not fulfilled.

Horse transports underwent a total of 40 inspections, and non-compliances were noted in every fifth. All of the breaches were due to a lack of permits, certificates of competence or transport documents. Compared to the previous year, the proportion of non-compliances was about the same. However, the results of the inspections have clearly improved during the last few years (18 % in 2015, 36 % in 2014 and 74 % in 2013).

Reindeer transports were inspected at the abattoirs and at the point of departure, which is where the animals are loaded onto the vehicle. A total of 13 transports were inspected and non-compliances were noted in four of these. The vehicles did not carry the equipment for euthanizing an animal or a sign for indicating that it is an animal transport or the lighting was not adequate for inspecting the animals.

Sheep transports underwent a total of 12 inspections, and three vehicles did not carry the equipment needed for euthanizing an injured animal and one did not have sufficient documentation.