13 August 1999
MAFF plans tighter animal transport rules

By FWi staff

JUNIOR agriculture minister Elliot Morley has announced measures intended to improve the welfare of animals in transit in a new consultation document, published yesterday (Thursday).

The report called for an independent assessment of competence of those transporting cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and horses by road on journeys over eight hours, and all poultry transporters.

The exemption which covers journeys of less than 50km from the Welfare of Animals Order of 1997 was also put under threat.

A spokesman from MAFF said the exemptions currently in place may not be there in future, although there would still be exceptions.

In the document Mr Morley said he would be seeking the views of transporters, welfare organisations and enforcers on the effectiveness of the current legislation and suggestions as to how it could be improved.

The proposals published followed wide-ranging discussions with industry, welfare organisations and enforcement agencies, said Mr Morley.

“I think they could lead to significant improvements to the conditions under which animals are transported.”

Meanwhile Mr Morley will be looking at what changes may be made to the European directive on animal transport when it is reviewed later this year.

Major issues he will be challenging are maximum journey times and loading densities.