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Ports: Live Animal Exports

Volume 387: debated on Monday 14 November 1977

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asked Her Majesty's Government:Through which ports in England and Wales live animals are shipped to EEC countries for slaughter and what numbers have passed through each of the ports named in the latest year for which records are available.

The following table shows the number of animals passed by veterinary inspectors of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food as fit to travel before being exported for immediate slaughter or for slaughter after further fattening.or to local authorities to inspect and control the conditions in which horses are transported long distances;

  • (iii) what steps are being taken to enforce the law regarding unnecessary cruelty;
  • (iv) what number of prosecutions have been made in the latest year for which records are available:
  • (v) where slaughterhouses licensed or appointed for this purpose are located;
  • (vi) what is the total of slaughterings carried out in these establishments for the latest year for which records are available.

(i) The Government are not aware of any general problem concerning the treatment of horses at sales or markets or in transit. There is no evidence that horses bought for slaughter in this country and destined for export in the form of meat to EEC countries are particularly at risk.(ii) The Protection of Animals Act 1911 makes it an offence to cause unnecessary suffering to any domestic or captive animal. In addition the Transit of Animal (Road and Rail) Order 1975 lays down detailed requirements with regard to the construction and maintenance of vehicles used for transporting animals and contains measures designed to safeguard the welfare of animals during loading, unloading and carriage.(iii) Officers of the local authorities, the police and the State Veterinary Service frequently attend sales and markets.(iv) In 1976, there were 917 prosecutions for various offences against the regulations which protect the welfare of animals. Information relating specifically to horses is not available.(v) Slaughterhouses licensed for the export of horsemeat to EEC countries are located at Bristol, Crawley, Huddersfield and Norwich.(vi) No central record is kept of the total number of horses slaughtered in these establishments.