Fitness for Transport Guidelines Provide Animal Welfare Boost
Posted on 12/01/2012
Today sees the official publication of the “Guidelines to assess fitness for transport of adult bovines”. These voluntary guidelines are designed to provide easy to understand help and advice to professionals involved in the transport of adult cattle - such as farmers, traders, hauliers and control authorities. They aim to improve animal protection during the transport process. The voluntary guidelines use pictures and easy to understand texts in order to facilitate decisions on the suitability of adult cattle for transport. They are based on and complementary to the relevant European legislation, but do not take account of national rules applicable in individual Member States.
Improving the protection of animals during their transport is in everyone’s interest. Transporting animals that are unfit not only causes animal suffering but could also lead to penalties, financial losses and the withdrawal of the authorisation of the transporter and/or the driver as well. The Guidelines provide a detailed list of situations that may occur and the conditions that may result in an animal being classed as unfit to transport. As such they do not represent the usual state of farm animals in the EU but show some specific cases, to help operators ensure animal protection is constantly maximised.
This document has been prepared by Eurogroup for animals, UECBV (European Livestock and Meat Trading Union), Animals’ Angels, FVE (Federation of Veterinarians of Europe), IRU (International Road Transport Union) and ELT (European Livestock Transporters).
The Guidelines are currently available in English, German, Spanish and French. Italian and Portuguese versions will be ready before the end of the month and other language versions are being considered.