Approximately 20 dogs being transported to Estonia from Spain are being returned as their conditions are described as cruel and cramped.
Approximately 20 dogs being transported to Estonia from Spain last night, November 5, are being returned in more suitable cages as their conditions are described as cruel and cramped.
Tiina Kuke, animal welfare specialist at the Agriculture and Food Board (PTA), reportedly said that the welfare of the animals, who arrived in Estonia just over a month ago, has been guaranteed on their return to Spain.
Kuke said: “The cages for transporting the animals have been rebuilt to make them suitable for dogs and have been inspected by the agency. In addition, all the dogs have been inspected by a licensed vet, to ensure they are ready for the long journey.”
Hunting tourism is allowed in Estonia and attracts people interested in hunting, particularly from the EU, however, PTA says that those involved in this type of tourism need to be aware of the animal welfare requirements.
“There is a clear need to raise the awareness of both hunters and those transporting hunting dogs from other countries about animal welfare and transport requirements. There is also a need to work more closely with member states to ensure checks in the country of origin.”
The Hiiumaa huntsmens’ society (Hiiumaa Jahimeeste Selts) said earlier last month that the ‘middle-man’ who was organising the hunting tourism trip was Samuele De Pizzol, an Italian national residing in Estonia.
According to reports, 22 dogs arrived in early October and were confined in cramped cages. A Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) patrol had stopped the van, with Spanish nationals inside, at Heltermaa, the port of arrival on Hiiumaa.
The PTA initiated proceedings and decided the animals were not permitted to travel any further in those conditions.
Video footage from the van caused public outcry on social media.
A PPA spokesperson Marko Kallas said: “There were six cages in the van. The [two] larger cages contained separate dogs and four cages had 20 dogs, five dogs per cage.”
Andres Onemar, board chair of the Hiiumaa huntsmens’ society, said the dogs’ transportation was not the responsibility of his organisation.
The dogs were kenneled in Kärdla, the island’s capital, before being returned to Spain.
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