Improved separation of animals in transit


<p>According to the Finnish Food Safety Authority Evira, 17 per cent of the commercial animal transport operations inspected in 2012 revealed activity violating the provisions on the transport of animals. A total of 358 inspections were carried out. The percentage of violations remained more or less on the same level as in the previous year. As in previous years, more than half of the failings detected were due to incomplete statutory documentation. On the other hand, the separation of animals in transit improved considerably.</p>

Most of the inspections were conducted by inspecting veterinary surgeons in abattoirs in connection with the unloading of the animals. Municipal veterinaries also inspected transport vehicles in transit and at the point of departure. The majority of the inspections concerned cattle and pig transport and the transport of poultry. Horse and reindeer transportation as well as two fish transport operations and one sheep transport were also inspected. A total of 22 inspections were carried out on transports lasting longer than eight hours. The average duration of transportation was 3.5 hours.

Predominant failing: Incomplete documentation

The greatest number of shortcomings in 2012 concerned the requirements related to animal transport permits, driver qualification certificates and transport documents. The second most common failings concerned the condition and safety of the vehicle and space requirements. Failings in the separation of animals and in compliance with additional requirements prescribed for long-distance transport as well as in observing the set duration of the transport were the third most common violations noted.

The amount of failings related to transport documentation, space allowed for the animals, duration of the transportation and the loading and unloading of animals has not changed in the last 16 years. However, the condition of the animals in transit and their separation has improved dramatically in the same period. In transit the animals must be separated from each other, in order to prevent injury. Also the condition of the vehicles used to transport animals has improved somewhat.

Annual inspections of animal transport

Commercial animal transport operations have been systematically inspected in Finland for the last sixteen years, since 1997. In the period from 2000 to 2012 animal welfare authorities have inspected a total of over 4 600 animal transport operations. The percentage of failings detected in inspections has decreased by one third over the last three years, compared to the most recent ten year average, which was an approximate failing rate of 23 per cent of all inspected transport operations.

Legislation on animal transport was reformed at the start of 2007. The Regulation of the Council of the European Union on the protection of animals during transport and related operations requires that the Member State monitors compliance with the animal welfare requirements set for the transport of animals, by inspecting annually a sufficient volume of transport operations. Evira compiles an annual summary of the inspection results and reports to the European Commission

Further information on the subject: > Animals > Animal welfare > Animal welfare control > EU inspections of animal transports > EU inspections of animal transports 2012

Further information:
Riikka Lahdenperä, Senior Inspector, tel. +358 40 489 3358
Taina Mikkonen, Divisional Manager, tel. +358 40 830 8404

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