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Animal Welfare

Volume 454: debated on Thursday 14 December 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs why the recent guidelines from his Department on transporting greyhounds were issued on British Greyhound Racing Board paper. (108401)

DEFRA has not produced any guidance specific to greyhounds. However, the Department has issued guidance on compliance with new EU rules on the welfare of animals during transport, which come into effect in January 2007. This guidance does not include specific advice on the transport of greyhounds as the EU Regulation sets only general requirements for these animals.

The British Greyhound Racing Board have produced separate guidance for their members on compliance with the new rules, which includes detailed technical requirements that are not specified in the regulation.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the possible implications for (a) animal welfare standards and (b) farmers’ competitiveness of differences in the four devolved areas of the United Kingdom between rural development programme schemes in respect of animal welfare promotional measures. (108531)

Improvements in animal welfare standards and farmers’ competitiveness can be achieved through a variety of means. There will be separate Rural Development Programmes for each part of the UK for the new programming period, 2007-13. The detail of these programmes will reflect the assessment made of the priorities and needs for each respective part of the UK.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether the livestock indicators relating to animal welfare launched by his Department on 24 November are intended to allow progress in each devolved area of the United Kingdom to be measured (a) separately and (b) on a United Kingdom-wide basis. (108533)

These livestock indicators have been introduced to show progress towards the delivery of the “Animal Welfare Strategy for Great Britain” in England. They are being developed by DEFRA in consultation with the England Implementation Group, the independent advisory body overseeing delivery of the strategy in England.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether the draft Animal Welfare Delivery Strategy takes account of the delay in implementing the England Rural Development Programme 2007 to 2013 announced on 1 November. (108614)

The draft Animal Welfare Delivery Strategy does not contain specific actions, resource commitments or funding mechanisms. These will be considered in an action plan, to be developed with stakeholders and published separately.