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Volume 264: debated on Tuesday 24 October 1995

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To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what are his plans with regard to the welfare of pigs. [38004]

The Welfare of Livestock Regulations 1994, S.I 2126 implemented EU directive 91/630 laying down minimum standards for the protection of pigs, including minimum space requirements for weaners and rearing pigs which will fully come into force on 1 January 1998. The regulations also maintained the requirement that the use of sow stalls and tethers should be phased out by the end of 1988 and banned the use of sweat box systems from 1 July this year.We await with interest the outcome of the Farm Animal Welfare Council's review of the welfare of outdoor pigs.The EU directive is due for review in 1997 and we have reminded the Commission of the importance of keeping to this timetable. We remain committed to securing harmonisation of EU legislation on the basis of our own high standards.

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what plans he has to repeal or amend the prohibition on sow stalls and tethers provided for by the Welfare of Livestock Regulations 1994; and if he will make a statement. [38007]