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Animal Exports

Volume 163: debated on Monday 4 December 1989

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To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will introduce a system of licensing for carriers of live animals intended for export; and if he will make a statement.

I do not intend to introduce licensing since this would add little to existing controls related to unnecessary suffering. Such a system would almost certainly contravene the Treaty of Rome.

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food under what provision he launched his recent investigation into the death of beagles being exported for research purposes in the pharmaceutical industry; if he has yet concluded his investigation; what action he proposes to take; and what powers he has to regulate such trade.

The investigation has now concluded. Charges are being considered under the Transit of Animals (General) Order 1973, as amended in 1988, and the Protection of Animals Act 1911. Under section 39 of the Animal Health Act 1981 Ministers may by order provide for regulating the export of animals from Great Britain in the interests of animal welfare.

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what information he has concerning the numbers and species of live animals being exported from the United Kingdom for use in research projects; and, in respect of both species and numbers, what is the importing country.

The numbers of animals exported for research purposes are not collected centrally.

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is his estimate of the number of slaughter animals exported live by species, to each of the member states of the European Economic Community during 1988 and the current year to date.

Animals inspected and certified as fit for transportation prior to export from Great Britain were as follows:

1. During 1988
For immediate slaughterFor further fattening
DestinationCattleSheepCattleCalvesSheepPigs
Belgium/Luxembourg997,1931
Holland108,880
Italy12,4414,460
France14238,79824120,848184,120
West Germany234,215299463
TOTAL EEC136262,647323234,651184,120
2. During the period 1 January to 30 September 1989
For immediate slaughterFor further fattening
DestinationCattleSheepCattleCalvesSheepPigs
Belgium/Luxembourg4813,46050
Holland1451077,156
Italy358,713199
France17393,237956114,563132,47424
West Germany1810,18828028
TOTAL EEC274125,7431,445191,797132,47424

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is his estimate of the number of slaughter animals, exported live, by species, to each non European Economic Community country during 1988 and the current year to date.

Farm livestock for slaughter are not licensed for export to countries outside the EEC.

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is his estimate of the total number of animals of each species exported from the United Kingdom in 1988 and 1989 to date for the purposes of (a) slaughter, (b) fattening, and (c) breeding.

Statistics for the United Kingdom do not distinguish between animals for fattening and those for immediate slaughter. The information is as follows:

BreedingOtherTotal
1. During 1988
Cattle7,690259,101266,791
Sheep11,310497,603508,913
Pigs11,31147,69259,003
2. January-September 1989
Cattle4,906198,824203,730
Sheep8,752318,820327,572
Pigs11,94666,77578,721

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what powers he has to regulate the export of live puppies; and what information he has concerning the numbers and destination of such exports by country of import during 1988 and 1989 to date.

Powers exist in the Animal Health Act 1981 to regulate by order the export of animals from Great Britain in the interests of animal welfare. I have no information on the numbers of exported puppies.