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01-01-2008 - Only 30% compliance with Regulation, according to inspector The welfare of animals during transport is poor – and the situation is getting worse, according to Alexander Rabitsch, an Austrian practitioner and part-time animal transport inspector since 1998.
At the recent meeting of the Union of European Veterinary Practitioners (UEVP), he shared his experience of the over 1000 spot-check inspections he had carried out in “one of Europe’s bottlenecks of animal transport”. Only around 30% of the vehicles comply with EU regulations, he found, “and the situation is getting worse”.
The majority of shortcomings involved animal welfare, and mainly concern inappropriate drinking facilities for calves, excessive loading densities of pigs and lambs and inadequate partitioning between horses. Following this
presentation, amply documented with statistics and photographs, the UEVP and European Association of State Veterinary Officers (EASVO) drew up a joint recommendation, which called for a more stringent enforcement of the existing Regulation. Furthermore, the sections recommended an urgent review of the Regulation to improve certain requirements, including loading densities, drinking facilities and the definition of journey time.
FVE has urged for many years that fattening of animals should take place within or near the place of birth. According to the Federation, animals should also be slaughtered as near to the point of production as possible, while long distance transportation of animals for slaughter should be replaced by a carcass-only trade whenever
possible. (FVE)

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