31 May 1996

In the courts over Spanish exports…

MAFF could face compensation claims from animal export companies after the European Court ruled last week that its temporary ban on the export of live sheep to Spain was illegal.

Judges ruled that MAFF was not entitled to refuse an Irish firm an export licence because of fears that some slaughterhouses were not complying with legislation concerning the stunning of stock before slaughter.

The case was brought by Hedley Lomas (Ireland) Ltd, which was refused a licence to export live sheep in October 1992. MAFFs temporary ban lasted between 1992-94.

The European Court announcement was condemned by animal welfare campaign groups, who claimed the decision struck a blow against animal welfare. &#42