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Animal Welfare

Volume 407: debated on Monday 23 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has to (a) limit the distances that stock can travel without rest periods and (b) prevent animals from staying overnight at livestock markets; and if she will make a statement. [120535]

[holding answer 20 June 2003]: The Government would prefer animals to be slaughtered near to the point of production and for long distance transport for slaughter to be replaced by a carcase trade. EU Commissioner David Byrne has said that he will shortly bring forward proposals to amend the current rules on animal welfare in transport including maximum permitted journey times and rest periods. Between March and May we consulted on a package of biosecurity measures for the livestock industry including a proposal to prevent animals from staying overnight at livestock markets in England and Wales. We expect to make an announcement shortly.