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Animals (Transport)

Volume 928: debated on Thursday 17 March 1977

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57.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he is satisfied that the conditions under which live animals are exported for slaughter fully comply with the recommendations of the O'Brien Report.

I am satisfied that the welfare of farm animals exported from this country is properly protected by arrangements which are based on the recommendations of the O'Brien Committee and which take account also of developments in animal welfare in Europe since the committee reported. The existing arrangements are in accordance with the terms of the motion passed by the House on 16th January 1975 and permit the export of live animals for slaughter under strict veterinary control only to member countries of the European Economic Community and to such other countries as can provide adequate welfare safeguards for the animals in question.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what penalty is incurred by persons contravening the regulations contained in subsection (4) of Section (6) of Clause 3 of Statutory Instrument 1977, No. 361.

The maximum fine for such an offence is £400, though the Criminal Law Bill seeks to increase it to £1,000. An offence may also have been committed against Article 12(2) of the Rabies (Importation of Dogs, Cats and Other Mammals) Order 1974 (as amended) the maximum fine for which is the same.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make it an offence for anyone to contravene the requirement immediately to notify the loss of an animal, as detailed in subsection (4) of section (6) of Clause 3 of Statutory Instrument, 1977, No. 361, not only at the ports and airports listed in the schedule thereof, but at any port, harbour, marina, wharf, or other seaborne or river-borne quay or jetty or at any airport or from any aircraft landing anywhere in Great Britain.

The requirement to notify the loss of an animal is not restricted to ports at which authorised landings may take place but applies to all harbours in Great Britain. The term "harbour" was redefined in the Rabies (Importation of Dogs, Cats and Other Mammals) (Amendment) Order 1977 so as to make it apply to all the places to which the hon. Member refers. The requirement is part of the new Article 12 to the 1974 Order, designed to ensure that animals from abroad, or which have recently been abroad and which are living on board vessels in harbour are confined in those vessels. There is no such problem with aircraft since animals do not live on them, as distinct from being transported in them. Any unlicensed landing from an aircraft would be an illegal landing.