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Live Animal Transport

Volume 408: debated on Thursday 3 July 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many prosecutions and convictions there have been regarding live animal transport by (a) type and (b) country of origin of the vehicle in each of the last 20 years. [122649]

The number of prosecutions under welfare in transport legislation are published in the annual "Return of Expenditure Incurred and Prosecutions taken under the Animal Health Act 1981, and Incidences of Disease in Imported Animals" which are available in the Libraries of the House.The number of prosecutions reported were: replacement by meat exports; and if she will make a statement. [121371]

[holding answer 1 July 2003]: Judgments in the European Court of Justice have confirmed that a ban on the live export of animals would be illegal under the Treaty of Rome. Instead of seeking a ban, we have continued to press in the Agriculture Council for the European Commission to bring forward improved controls for the welfare of animals during transport. Commissioner David Byrne has now said that he expects to produce these long overdue proposals in July 2003. Most of our exports are of meat. We are supporting action to improve competitiveness in the red meat food chain with a view to strengthening meat supply chains both at home and in export markets.