“This is news to me”.
That’s how conservative Member of Parliament Ann-Sofie Alm, from nearby Munkedal reacted, when she realized that regulations dating back to the 80s still apply regarding the transport of goods – including dogs - in our cars.
The Swedish Board of Agriculture's recommendations covering the dimensions that apply to dog cages in cars have not been updated for more than thirty years.
“This is unfortunate. All the crash tests we have done indicate that the dimensions stipulated by the board are far too large for a dog to be securely transported in a vehicle.” says MIMsafe's crash safety expert Anders Flogård.
MIMsafe has committed to the issue of passenger and animal safety in cars in the hope of bringing about what it sees as a much-needed change.
For Ann-Sofie Alm, the visit to MIMsafe was an eye-opener:
“I now have good grasp of the whole picture, of the factors one needs to take into account when working out a cage’s optimum dimensions that make it a safe place for a dog to travel in. This should be readily available to the general public, so that dog owners have the appropriate information. I will do my best to bring this issue up for discussion.” says Ann-Sofie Alm during her visit to Trollhättan.
Anders Flogård is surprised that the rules have not changed.
“What’s needed are changes in the relevant paragraphs in the Animal Welfare Act, or at least updated recommendations from the Swedish Agricultural Board. Through our independent crash tests done at the Swedish research institute, RISE, in Borås, we can show that a dog - contrary to the Swedish Board of Agriculture's recommendations – must travel in a smaller space to stay safe in a crash situation. That's pretty obvious.
MIMsafe's CEO, Gert Olofsson hopes that the issue will be receive the attention it deserves:
“It needs to be taken all the way up to parliamentary level so that the issue is prioritized, since it is not only important for us, but for everyone in the industry, not least, the country’s dog owners.”
MIMsafe is also keen to get a discussion going toward eliminating wrongful marketing.
“What are the different cage manufacturers really saying in their ads, where they claim their cages are crash tested? How should customers relate to this? It is next to impossible. The law is crystal clear. It’s clearly defined in the Product Safety Act, but which I suspect is very often not followed,“ concludes Gert Olofsson.
According to the European Product Safety Act, all new products that companies put on offer must be safe for consumers, with the benchmark set by The best possible technology on the market.
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