DG SANTE audit slams Croatia for insufficient protection of animals during transport

Photo credits: © Animals International

DG SANTE released a report from an audit carried out in Croatia in September 2018 to check animal protection measures for transported animals being loaded onto vessels for further transport to non-EU countries.

Rasa port is one of the major exit point for live animals destined for hird countries: in four days, 101 trucks transporting cattle from five Member States arrived at the port during a heatwave, with daytime temperatures well over 30°C. The report stresses that under these conditions, “the loading of vehicles at departure should not have been carried out”.

Other shortcomings were  identified by the auditors, who conclude that the Croatian competent authorities have not taken sufficient measures to minimise suffering for animals arriving at the port to be further transported by sea.

The executive summary concludes: “The Croatian system to approve livestock vessels for transport in the EU and for inspecting them before each loading does not minimise the risk of adverse welfare conditions for the animals during the journey. This happens because the veterinary inspectors have neither sufficiently detailed instructions nor sufficient technical knowledge to assess properly the vessel’s facilities, and they allocate a very short time to inspect vessels.

The current arrangements at the port do not guarantee the welfare of the animals if there is a delay in loading a vessel, as there are no contingency plans from the transporter or from the authorities to deal with such a situation. The authorities do not detect weaknesses and mistakes in their controls and thus they cannot correct them, as there is no verification procedure to check the effectiveness of the official controls at the port which would allow them to take corrective measures.”

This audit report confirms the findings of several investigations by animal welfare NGOs showing that the transport of animals to Croatian ports, where they are then loaded on vessels to reach non-EU destinations, exposes the animals to unacceptable suffering.

Read the full report here.

CONTACT:

Dr. Elena Nalon, Veterinary Adviser Farm Animals
Tel. +32 (0)2 740 0897 | e.nalon@eurogroupforanimals.org

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