Pig sector worries about new transport regs

New animal transport regulations come into force throughout the EU on 5 January, 2007.

These regulations will apply to all species of farm animal, including pigs, and will replace the Welfare of Animals (Transport) Order 1997.

Hauliers will have to apply for transporter authorisations, as will farmers who are delivering the animals themselves.

Short journey authorisation certificates will be needed for all journeys over 65km and up to 8 hours. Long journey certificates will be required for journeys over 8 hours.

These transporter authorisations will involve stricter vehicle standards for journeys over 8 hours and specific vehicle approval.

From 5 January, 2008 anyone involved in pig haulage must hold a certificate of competence and from January 2009, pig journeys of over 8 hours must use a satellite navigation system.

All movement records must be retained for at least 3 years.

Vehicle certificates will only be issued if pig ramps are not steeper than 20 degrees, ventilation and inspection access is available, non-slip flooring is fitted and internal lighting to inspect animals during transit.

Vehicles will also have to be clearly marked to indicate the presence of live animals, and space limits will be monitored.

Most UK pig herds are already in Farm Assurance Schemes which also require high standards of welfare and competence by approved hauliers.

There are concerns within the industry over the extra potential costs and rising levels of bureaucracy that these new EU regulations will cause.