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This news article was originally written in Spanish. It has been automatically translated for your convenience. Reasonable efforts have been made to provide an accurate translation, however, no automated translation is perfect nor is it intended to replace a human translator. The original article in Spanish can be viewed at Entrevista a José Ángel Sirvent, gerente de Villa de Bienservida
"The sector has adapted very well, but need more involvement of the Administration"

Interview to José Ángel Sirvent, Bienservida Villa Manager

Ricard Arís04/03/2011

March 04, 2011

The transport of livestock is a facet of little-known by the public at large, but of vital importance for our food industry. Prevent disease or stress in animals is one of the main missions from carriers, other than of course arrive on time and in good condition at the place of destination. But despite the efforts of the sector to renew itself, we need investment in infrastructure by the Administration, as we commented José Ángel Sirvent, Bienservida Villa Manager, a company with nearly eighty years of experience in the transport of livestock.

Before you begin, how is the daily life of a cattle carrier?

The daily life of a cattle carrier tends to be very varied, usually the day is organized according to the type of livestock to be transported and the fate of this one, because if life cattle is loaded first thing in the morning is when livestock tends to be in a better position, and if the cattle are going to slaughter is must know the time of slaughter to adjust the trip and having animals minimum possible time in the truck.

José Ángel Sirvent, Bienservida Villa Manager.

What problems are you usually? Let us several examples...

We have enough problems in our work, one of them is the documentation accompanying the animals to be fully prepared. We must check all the paperwork, because we are responsible for the documentation accompanying the animals and to take us over, we must verify is correct. Also that the animals are prepared, with the IDs separated in lots according to the criterion of the farmer and released.

We also have problems with access, because the ships, the primers and load centres tend to be next to the freeway and have problems getting to them. When we download the animals we have difficulty in the cleaning of the vehicle, normally only in slaughterhouses there washing and disinfection centres, and when it is earned in life we need to do large displacements to locate a centre and to clean the vehicle and only some communities have been provided for thisthe others only want to fine. There are also problems with the transposition and implementation of the legislation in the various autonomous communities, because there are different criteria and that hurts us enough.

Recent studies have shown that the transfer of livestock causes a strong stress in animals. In what way can we avoid?

Sure enough produces stress in the transport of animals, but no of the form that it dimensionan some organisations. According to the experience that have, the animals suffer the stress in the load and download and no during the transport. The vehicles at present are prepared so that the animals go comfortable during the transport, have of floor antideslizante, bebederos, comederos, showers, fans, etc. The interior goes designed without any type of edges, the floors collect urinate them, and with a circulation of air in the interior that renews constantly the environingingment. A team of researchers of the Danish university of Aarhus has compared the behaviour of the pigs in the rests during the transports to long distances, as it download them or remain in the truck.

In the investigation, studied a group of pigs transported during 4.000\1km\2 in five days, with two rests of 24 hours, after each 24 hours of trip. A group of pigs went in the flat from above of the truck. These animals remained in the vehicles during the rest. The second group of pigs went in the plant of under the truck and were downloaded to an area of rest during the stops. So much in the vehicle as in the area of rest, each pig had 0,8 square metres. The researchers registered data of behaviour, physiology, clinical state, corporal weight and consumption of water. They measured temperature of the air, humidity, contained in CO2 in the vehicle.

The results showed that if the vehicles can design properly, can be more advantageous not downloading the pigs of the trucks. In the download and back load, to the pig subjects him to stress. Besides, the areas of rest suppose to subject to the pig to a new environingingment, what also can him generate stress. Likewise, in these areas can have danger of contagion of illnesses. Some pigs yes showed symptoms of dehydration, by what the scientists advise that the vehicles would have to have devices to drink of easy accessibility and location.

"The European administration should give to the territory of a network of centres of washing and disinfection in order to comply with the rules"

What is the difference between the transport of different types of livestock such as pigs, sheep, cattle and the poultry?

Differences exist in the density depending on the type of animal, breed, age and weight. Normally the vehicle may be the same except in the case of poultry, which needs adapted to each type of animal cages. Our vehicles are very versatile and can be adapted to every need, depending on the type of animal to be transported.

One of the current trucks of the Villa of Bienservida company.

What requirements are required in each case?

According to the type of animal you need different densities, apartments of different sizes, have a height between floors to enable the internal movement of air, drinking troughs, feeders adapted according to the custom of drinking of the animal and the height you need, and showers in the case of pig.

We know that the transportation of livestock has some risks. How can one prevent the spread of diseases such as, for instance, salmonella?

Provided that a cattle truck loads the vehicle has been washed and disinfected previously, so it is not possible to give these cases inside the vehicle. It may be that animals are carriers of the disease, but there are health checks before the loading of the vehicle. Anyway, there should be more centres of washing and disinfection. In all large populations should be mandatory by the livestock regions have available such centres and which might be of public use upon payment.

How is transport of livestock sector? What challenges are you face?

The sector is very bad, because the lack of activity is affecting us much, unfair competition, prices of fuels, with the constant rules that affects us, because we depend on a number of ministries, livestock with animal welfare, building with the tachographInterior with the Civil Guard and the Seprona, health veterinarians, etc. In many cases it is very difficult to comply with the rules, we have a very sensitive goods and the delay by a simple prick or a jam in the movement can complicate us enormously throughout the Organization of the trip, because you are transporting live animals, and we can not stop when you want or when signaled by the regulations.

With regard to the challenges, I believe that it is a sector that has adapted very well to the changing times, because most of the vehicles had been modernized and are have been adapted to the regulations or market expelled themI think that the challenge should be most important part of the Administration, since it must provide to apply the rules with adequate infrastructure to be able to meet, because we have the problem mentioned earlier of the cleaning and disinfection centresalso stop centres for animals, since they hardly exist in European geography.

To call on the Administration to make it aware of the current situation of the sector, and any rules you want to apply see the sector, because our experience can give security and certainty in the decisions that can be made. Also pleading that enabled the European network of centres of washing and disinfection territory, because we have an interest very large to collaborate in the fulfilment of the regulations in force, but we need to be also involved them.

José Ángel Sirvent company is transporting animals from the 30s of the 20th century.

What offers your company that differentiates them from other transport of cattle?

We are a company with a long history in the transportation of animals, we are in the market since the last century, back in the 1930s, with a well proven experience in the course of the years.We have qualified staff in the handling of the animals is in continuing training, so to comply with legislation and quickly solve any eventuality that could occur during transport. We had an excellent adaptation to the changes that have been taking place for the demands of the market, with vehicles prepared for all kinds of transport of animals and for any type of travel, and which are equipped with the latest technologies of the marketalways at the forefront of the transport of livestock in life. In addition, we belong to associations representing our sector, ANTA (National Association of carriers of animals) and ELT (European livestock transport)

Our most significant destinations include: Greece (Crete), Germany, Portugal, Italy, France, etc. countries who travel regularly. Our clientele is composed, the great food, both by small farmers who move their cattle in the transhumance, that we have different solutions depending on the needs of the client; We can congratulate ourselves on having many customers in life. Among the types of transported animals: EMU, ostriches, partridges, ducks, sheep, cattle, pigs and horses. But we are prepared to carry any animal that the law allows us. We are very respectful with the environment, our vehicles are of low emission, we use biodegradable cleaning of vehicles products, as well as we put in appropriate places that we use and polluting products: oil, filters, tires, etc., also recycle solid waste that leave the animals.