Our animal welfare work
The County Administrative Board carry out animal welfare inspections, feed and food inspections as well as inspections of animal health staff. The aim of our animal welfare work is to ensure compliance with the Animal Welfare Act, and ensure that the animals have a comfortable life.
The Animal Welfare Act (2018:1192) contains provisions on how animals should be kept and treated. These provisions are supplemented by the Animal Protection Ordinance, various regulations and general advice. The Swedish Board of Agriculture has the overall responsibility for maintaining and developing animal welfare in Sweden. Their mission includes coordinating and guiding The County Administrative Board’s work.
Animal welfare inspections
We carry out animal welfare inspections throughout the County. We perform both checks on farm animals in particular, but also carry out inspections when we receive a notification of abuse at the hands of private individuals.
Different animal welfare inspections
Normal inspections are so called routine checks, which we perform at regular intervals according to a risk rating or on randomly selected farms and businesses. When we perform normal inspections, we base them on a checklist for animal species that applies to Sweden as a whole.
After the inspection we provide an in situ summary for the animal owner. Within three weeks the animal keeper will receive a written inspection report including results based on the checklist and what was established verbally during the visit. The report also contains any requirements for action.
If we’ve noticed shortcomings at the inspection, a complete inspection on site may be necessary. If the shortcomings are minor, we may follow up by having the animal keeper submit photographs or certificates. If the shortcomings are not resolved at a follow up, the County Administrative Board may decide on an order (a compelling decision). This may be combined with a fine.
A notification inspection is carried out when we receive a notification. The notifications are prioritized based on their urgency. The inspection follows a checklist based on the notification.
If we find major shortcomings, an extended inspection may be necessary. The handling of the case after the inspection is the same as for normal inspections.
The County Administrative Board may decide that the animals must be taken into charge immediately, if the animals are abused and it’s considered hopeless that the shortcomings will be resolved, the owner of the animals is unknown, or if we otherwise consider it necessary from an animal welfare point of view (32 § The Animal Welfare Act (1988:534).
Shortcomings in animal husbandry
If we find less serious shortcomings, we may decide that the shortcomings must be corrected in compliance with the regulations. This requirement may be combined with a fine, which has to be paid unless the shortcomings are resolved.
If an animal is abused we may decide to take that animal into charge. In that case, we must also decide what to do with the animal, for example whether it should be sold, or put down. We are responsible for the practical management of the animal that is taken into charge.
The County Administrative Board also makes decisions about animal bans, for example for people who has been convicted of cruelty to animals, or manifestly proved to be unfit to care for animals.
If you are a farmer, and you applied for any kind of agricultural grant, you may receive less money in support of your business if you do not comply with animal welfare regulations.
Violations of the Animal Welfare Act are handled by the District Court. If you are convicted of a crime, you may get a fine or imprisonment for a maximum of two years.
Costs for inspection visits
Normally, the inspection visit is free of charge. But, if we find shortcomings at a notification visit, the animal keeper is obliged to pay for the time we spent inspecting, travelling and handling the case.
If we find shortcomings at a normal inspection the animal keeper will receive an invoice to cover costs for any follow-up visits.