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reshuffle to blame?

Dramatic fall in animal welfare checks

Published lördag 5 mars 2011 kl 10.42
The checks are meant to make sure conditions for pigs like these are acceptable. Photo: Patrik Lundin/SvD/Scanpix.

Check-ups on animal welfare in Swedish farms and zoos are too few and far between, according to the National Board of Agriculture.

The board says only half the number of checks were carried out in 2010, compared to 2009.

They put the dramatic fall down to a shift in responsibility. Up until 2010 it was up to local councils to keep tabs on animal welfare in their areas, that job was given to the larger county councils, with the aim of improving the checks. Despite the fact that there are the same number of inspectors, they only managed 13 000 visits last year, way down from the over 23 000 carried out the year before, reports Swedish Radio News.

Sweden's Board of Agriculture is to now to look at the procedures for the inspectors, to reduce the red tape and give them the time to make more visits.

"Sweden as a nation thinks animal welfare is very important within the EU, and with fewer checks we can't say that we have the standard of welfare we like to think we have", says Malin Engdahl from the Board of Agriculture.

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