One week ago, Eyes on Animals gave a training course to the police from the region of Gent (Belgium) about the European animal transport legislation. Today, the practical part of the training took place. At 5am a control point was set up on the highway and all livestock trucks passing by were inspected. Nine trucks were stopped in total. Several were in violation for not having their paper documents in order but the animals on board were fortunately in good condition.
Two Dutch pig trucks were over the maximum weight of 44 tons and thus had to pay a fine and order another truck to unload the excess weight (30 pigs) onto. We luckily also caught a double-deck truck transporting adult cattle without enough headroom- almost all cattle on board had their backs rubbing against the ceiling and could not hold their heads up in a natural position. It was a case of poor animal-welfare.
The police handed out a fine of €285 to the transport company, which had to be paid in cash on the spot, as well as a statement of offence (which will be later judged by the state attorney). Most importantly, they demanded that the chauffeur order a second truck to unload one level of the cattle into. The problem was solved within 40 minutes. The cattle immediately appeared relieved once they were finally on a single-deck truck with plenty of head space.
We would like to thank the Belgian police officers and the veterinarian from the FAVV for a very productive day.