In 2017, inspections of 357 commercial animal transports and about 730 000 animals were undertaken. Of the inspected animals 98 % 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 32 transports lasting over eight hours were inspected and the average duration of the transports was about 4 hours. Non-compliances with the animal transport regulations were observed in 24 animal transports in total, which is about 7 % of the inspected transports. The number of non-compliances had dropped further compared to the previous year (9 % in 2016). There were 40 separate non-compliances in total, as several breaches were observed during the same inspection of some of the transports.
Deficiencies in documentation has decreased
The non-compliances were mainly the same as in previous years, even though the share of inadequate documentation had decreased compared to previous years. Most of the individual breaches were related to the condition and safety of the vehicle and the additional requirements for long-distance transports (17 breaches). The next most common breaches were related to the requirements for transport documentation, the driver’s certificate of competence and transporter authorisation (16 breaches, which is 40 % of all breaches observed). The third most common deficiencies were related to transport practices and space requirements for the animals (4 breaches). Non-compliances related to the ability to euthanize injured animals were discovered in one transport. In one horse transport there were problems as to the requirements for water. In one turkey transport two birds that were unfit for travel were discovered.
Cattle transports underwent a total of 122 inspections, and 10 of these were transfers to another farm. No non-compliances were noted in the inspections of the transferred animals. As to the other cattle transports, breaches related to documentation, drinking equipment for the animals, separation of the animals and additional requirements for long transports were noted in nine inspections.
Poultry transports underwent a total of 118 inspections, and inadequate documentation was noted in three of these. In addition to these, one transport carried two animals unfit for transport.
Pig transports underwent 89 inspections, and non-compliances were noted in eight of these. Inadequate documentation was noted in four cases. In other cases the vehicle did not have the required signage indicating animal transport, or the condition of the vehicle or the additional requirements for long transports were not fulfilled.
Horse transports underwent a total of 17 inspections, and non-compliances were noted in three. All of the three breaches were due to a lack of permits, certificates of competence or transport documents. In addition, one of these transport vehicles did not have the required signage indicating animal transport and another had not adhered to the breaks for drinking and for rest. Compared to the previous year, the proportion of non-compliances of horse transports had decreased at the same time as the number of inspections also had decreased.
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 six transports were inspected, and a breach was found in one. The vehicle did not have the required signage indicating animal transport.
Sheep transports underwent 12 inspections, and no breaches were noted.