This dossier aims to help Competent Authorities and other stakeholders with issues related to assessment of fitness for transport and criteria and circumstances leading to a decision of ‘unfit for transport’. The dossier is updated periodically by the EURCAW-Pigs team. The text is meant to support Competent Authorities, and is not legally binding.
The legal requirements regarding fitness for transport are stated in the Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 and additional text can be found in Council regulation 1255/97 and in Regulation 853/2004. Fitness for transport is a central concept in the Council Regulation (EC 1/2005). However, the regulation does not define the term, but describes a condition that should not happen.
The high number and relatively long duration of journeys amplify the importance of the pre-transport fitness of pigs. The diversity of pig categories makes the assessment of fitness for transport extra complex: pigs may be transported as weaners to a finishing farm, at slaughter weight to a slaughterhouse, as breeding animals to a multiplier farm, and/or as cull sows and boars to a slaughterhouse after finishing their productive life.
Inspection of the pre-transport condition of individual animals is needed for the assessment of fitness for transport. Under practical conditions, the clinical examination of each individual animal needs to be relatively fast as most journeys involve many animals. Two key areas to focus on during inspections on fitness for transport can be distinguished. For these key areas, indicators relevant for the different pig categories are suggested. Each indicator is described in an indicator factsheet, by suggesting an inspection and scoring method, and summarizing the underlying welfare concern and legal requirements.
In collaboration with national training bodies and national reference centers on animal welfare, EURCAW-Pigs develops training guides for the different welfare topics as standards for national training in EU Member States.
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