Exporters Must Not Break Animal Welfare Laws

UK - Transport companies exporting live animals from the Port of Ramsgate have been warned they must put a stop to unnecessary delays, Agriculture Minister Jim Paice said
calendar icon 31 October 2011
clock icon 2 minute read

In response to recent unacceptable delays at the Port, the Government has written to exporters to warn them of the consequences of not observing the law on animal welfare standards and there will be a new limit on the time taken to load vehicles onto the vessel. This will normally be two hours.

Jim Paice said: “I want all those involved in the export of live animals to be under no illusion that we take animal welfare very seriously."

“It has been brought to my attention that unacceptable delays have occurred at the Port of Ramsgate. I will not tolerate this. The AHVLA has today written to the operators involved warning them of the consequences of breaking animal welfare laws and assuring them robust action will be taken.”

Whilst the live export trade has diminished significantly, from more than two million at the peak of exports in 1992 to around 50,000 a year now, it is not possible for the Government to ban it, as this would be contrary to EU trade rules.

However, Jim Paice will press the European Commission to come forward with proposals to tighten up existing rules and encourage, more sustainable and less stressful journeys.

Jim Paice said: “I want to see livestock slaughtered as close as possible to where they are farmed so I am pushing Europe for improved rules that reduce the stress that these long journeys cause animals.”

Mr Paice also welcomed the news that updated guidelines are being produced by Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) on the regulatory action they take in relation to welfare in transport rules. These will be published soon.

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