16 June 1995

Minister says crate ban soon

THERE is a good chance the EU will ban veal crates by the end of the year, farm minister William Waldegrave told the Commons last week.

Rejecting renewed Opposition calls for the UK to ban its veal calf exports unilaterally, he said such a ban would be challenged by the EU Commission straight away. "The whole thing would be in the long grass of legal dispute, perhaps for years," he added.

There would be nothing smart about banning calves that came only from the UK. They would be replaced in the same veal crates abroad by calves from elsewhere.

The object was to get rid of the practice. It would be a far greater gain for animal welfare, without placing British farmers in jeopardy. The EUs scientific veterinary committee would report back to the council in September or October. &#42