26 January 1996

Transport rules are threat to health

EUROPEAN animal transport rules are threatening the health of UK pigs, warns the Pig Veterinary Society.

Maximum continuous travelling time on the vehicle will be 24 hours, after which pigs must be unloaded, housed, fed and watered before continuing the journey.

As most pigs exported from the UK and travelling long distances are valuable breeding stock, the society is concerned the staging posts will risk their high health status.

Breeding stock could come into contact with commercial pigs from mainland Europe, travelling to finishing units or abattoirs elsewhere in Europe. This would not only jeopardise UK pigs, it could pose a potential threat of disseminating notifiable and other debilitating diseases, such as swine dysentery.

For breeding pigs, the PVS says the vehicles should act as staging posts. Wagons for transporting breeding stock would need to be equipped to a high standard with methods of feeding and watering. Stopping places should be approved and occupied by only one vehicle at a time in any 24-hour period. &#42