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Risk assessment in stock calf transportation from France to Italy: the contribution of road inspections

Author(s): Leonardo Nanni Costa | Mario Sapino | Sergio Pippione | Giovanni Mattalia | Mauro Saracco | Savino Di Trani | Cesare Zanasi

Journal: Italian Journal of Animal Science
ISSN 1594-4077

Volume: 11;
Issue: 1;
Start page: e6;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: Animal welfare | Inspections | Risk analysis | Stock calves | Transport

In order to assess the risk associated with the transport of stock calves imported from France to Italy, information obtained from inspections carried out in Piedmont by competent authorities between 2001 and 2010 were considered. The inspections concerned 246 trucks transporting a total of 13,857 fattening calves. Based on the types of infringements recorded, several hazards related to animal welfare, such as overcrowding, tying by the horns and inappropriate mixing, were identified and characterized. The inspection of vehicles revealed hazards concerning partitions, bedding, decks, lighting, drinking and mechanical ventilation systems. A calculation was made of the incidence of these infringements and the consequent exposure of calves to such hazards and risk characterization was performed. The ranking shows overcrowding and the absence of partitions to be major risks in stock calf transportation from France to Italy. A logistic regression was adopted to evaluate the effect on the exposure to hazards of the only two variables recordable during the inspections: number of calves inside each vehicle and the travelled distance. The results showed a direct relationship between the number of calves per vehicle and exposure to absence of partitions or to overcrowding. The relationship between the travelled distance and the exposure to the absence of partition was found not significant. The information obtained from the inspections provides not only a basis for evaluating the welfare of calves during transport but also an objective contribution to the assessment of the risks related to their transportation.
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