Inspector@work'As a student of Veterinary Medicine, I initially thought my future job would concern pets, principally cats and dogs, like many fellows were apt to choose. Almost graduated, I began to see the importance of making changes in slaughterhouses of different species, like cows and pigs. I discovered the importance of the welfare of livestock for public health, animal and humans, and that became my primary focus.
Inspector@work‘Over the past eight years that I have spent as an inspector on farms and pig farms, the work has not become any easier. Farmers have to comply with frequently changing European animal welfare regulations. Take, for example, the revisions on animal disease in the European Animal Health Law that we have been confronted with since this year. We also have additional national regulations on animal welfare and disease prevention in Germany, such as entry requirements on farms regarding hygienic criteria. Another challenge is the wording of the law; it’s kept rather general to provide the possibility to act case by case, as there are different aspects to be considered in the individual situation on the pig farm.
Inspector@work‘Animal welfare has been a hot topic since I joined this particular department of the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries in 2013. The legislation of the European Union is developing quickly, and on top of that, the Danish government has its own regulations. For example, the EU prescribes that farmers should maintain a medications record per pig or group of pigs, Danish regulations are stricter; the diagnosis needs to be noted as well.
Inspector@workAfter having worked as an inspector on pig farms for twenty-two years, it is easy to spot whether a farmer has his business in order. But, I still want to inspect every pig. My motto is: every blemish is one too many. Applying the rules is not always easy because the legislation coming from Brussels is sometimes open to interpretation.