Agency wants weapons on Norway trains
The Norwegian Food Safety Authority has demanded that weapons be deployed on Norwegian trains so that any injured animals on the tracks can be killed in a humane and timely manner.
The authority believes that animals suffer too long following collisions with trains. The agency wants to see firearms deployed on trains and has accused rail companies of violating the Animal Welfare Act.
"The way we see it, the animal welfare law is repeatedly violated on the Nordland Line," said senior adviser Asle-Håvard Miklegard at the authority to the NRK news agency.
Miklegard says the situation on the Nordland Line, which plies the 729 kilometre distance between Trondheim and Bodø in northern Norway, is serious and requires new measures to remedy the problems.
"Animals are left for hours with a broken back, fractured bones and severe pain before being killed."
Some 2,316 deer were struck by trains on the stretch of the line between Steinkjer and Bodø in the decade 2001-2011, according to official statistics.
"With the present system, both herders and hunters can often be far away from the location when they are called. In an ideal world the animals would be killed immediately."
Åge-Christoffer Lundebyveien at national rail operator NSB said however that it was unlikely that weapons would be deployed onboard trains, pointing out that the practice which was common before has been discontinued
"Weapons regulations are strict in Norway, and should be strict. There were fewer and fewer of our employees who felt it was right to leave the train in unknown terrain, only to make a killing, and often in the dark," Lundebyveien explained.