In 2010, almost 350 animal transports were inspected and nonconformities with respect to animal welfare were detected in ca. 16 per cent of these. The number of nonconformities decreased over the previous year. As in previous years, a considerable proportion of the detected nonconformities were related to deficiencies in regulatory documents.
A total of 348 animal transports were inspected in 2010, involving more than 818,000 animals. Violations of animal transport regulations were found in 16% of the vehicles. The number decreased over the previous year, as in 2009 nonconformities were found in approximately 27% of the inspections. The authorities instigated action to secure the welfare of the animals in approximately 9% of the inspected transports.
Nonconformities often due to deficient documentation
The majority of individual nonconformities were associated with requirements concerning transport documentation, marking on the vehicle indicating animals and animal transporter authorisations. The second most common deficiencies were those in the condition and safety of vehicles, and the third most common violations lay in failure to conform to additional requirements applicable to long transports.
Execution of inspections
Most of the inspections were carried out by inspection veterinarians in slaughterhouses when transport vehicles were unloaded. In addition, provincial veterinarians inspected transports on the road and at the place of departure. The majority of inspections were targeted at transports of pigs and cattle. Inspections also covered poultry transports, a few transports of horses and reindeer, and isolated cases of sheep transports.
Animal transports are inspected on an annual basis
The legislation on animal transports was revised at the beginning of 2007. The Commission Regulation on the protection of animals during transport and related operations requires each Member State to inspect an adequate number of animal transports every year, in order to control compliance with the animal protection requirements set forth for animal transports. Finnish Food Authority prepares every year a summary of the Finnish inspection results and reports them to the European Commission.
Finland has conducted EU animal welfare inspections of animal transports since 1997. With more than 3,800 transports inspected between 2000 and 2010 in all, nonconformities with respect to animal protection were detected in an average of 23% of transports.