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Animal welfare: Insufficient monitoring of transport of live animals in Norway



The way in which the transport of live animals is monitored in Norway is in breach of the rules on animal welfare set out in the EEA Agreement. This is among the conclusions in a report that the EFTA Surveillance Authority published today.

The report is based on an animal welfare inspection carried out in Norway in October 2012. The report focused on standards of welfare during transport and for laying hens on farms.

Norway lacks a systematic national approach ensuring official welfare checks at all stages of transport of animals. Official controls  of animal welfare during transport is almost exclusively carried out on arrival at slaughterhouses, therefore missing the checks required at the place of departure, on roads and on roll-on-roll-off ferries.

The inspection also uncovered breaches of the time limits set on the transport of live animals. EEA rules requires use of specially approved vehicles for animal transports exceeding eight hours... The transportation of live animals for breeding and/or farming in Norway often exceeds eight hours, lasting up to 20 hours or more. The transportation is often carried out in vehicles that have not been approved for such long journeys.

By contrast the living conditions of laying hens have improved. All the farms but one in Norway had changed from unenriched cages to other farming methods of laying hens. Unenriched cages have been prohibited by EEA legislation since 1 January 2012. In its report, however, the Authority points out that the enriched cages do not always have sufficient perches. This was also reported in the Authority's previous mission on animal welfare to Norway in 2009.

The National Food Safety Authority (Mattilsynet) has taken note of the shortcomings identified in the report from October 2012, has addressed them in its reply to a draft version of the report and has started working on the recommendations contained in the report. Mattilsynet's reply is annexed to the final report.

For further information, please contact:

Mr. Trygve Mellvang-Berg
Press & Information Officer
tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 66
mob. (+32)(0)492 900 187

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