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Danish animal charities call for action after repeated cargo accidents

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Ritzau/The Local - [email protected]
Danish animal charities call for action after repeated cargo accidents
Emergency services at the scene after a pig cargo truck caught fire near Aarhus on September 18th. Photo: Presse-Fotos.dk/Ritzau Scanpix

An accident involving a pig cargo truck on a Danish motorway on Monday was the sixth of its kind in the country this year. An animal protection charity says the incidents should be scrutinised.

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A pig cargo truck caught fire on the E45 motorway near Aarhus on Monday morning, resulting in a closure of the road in both directions for several hours.

The incident occurred between junctions 48 and 49 near the city. No injuries were initially reported but police were called to assist clearing the animals, a number of which had to be euthanised. The cause of the fire was initially unknown.

“Several of the pigs were injured, while others were subjected to a severe stress by the incident,” senior officer Mikkel Møldrup of East Jutland Police said in a statement.

“In addition, there were pigs running around in the dark on the motorway, endangering road users in the morning traffic, which is why we decided that they had to be euthanised as quickly as possible,” he said.

The surviving pigs were rounded up and transported from the scene in a new transport vehicle.

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According to charity Animal Protection Denmark (Dyrenes Beskyttelse), the incident was the sixth of its kind in Denmark this year.

The organisation called for authorities to keep a record of accidents involving animal cargoes and investigate their causes.

“We should do more to prevent these accidents, which have serious consequences for animal welfare and for people,” the organisation’s veterinarian Ditte Erichsen said in a statement.

“That’s why both the sector and authorities should put their focus on the many accidents with pig cargo trucks and systematically collect data about the incidents,” she said.

“These accidents lead to the death and suffering of pigs. Injured pigs can lie waiting to be euthanised for a long time,” she said.

Large animal cargoes with several levels are a potential accident risk, Erichsen argued.

“Pigs are transported in many layers on the trucks, so it’s obvious that trucks like these have a relatively high weight at the top, which changes the truck's centre of gravity,” she said.

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