18 March 1998
Morley would ban live exports — if he could

By FWi staff

JUNIOR Farm Minister Elliot Morley would like to ban live exports — but he admits he lacks the power to do so.

Speaking to Ministry of Agriculture veterinary staff at Dover and Reigate yesterday (Tuesday), Mr Morley said: “The Government strongly believes exports should be in the form of meat rather than live exports. We do not, however, have the power to ban live exports under [European] Community free-trade rules.”

Instead, welfare for transported animals will be improved by a partnership between Government and MAFF.

“I am determined that as much as possible should be done to raise standards and ensure enforcement. But however much the Government does to put in place rules and regulations, it will always be dependent on the skill and professionalism of staff on the ground to make the rules work in practice.”

“Staff on the ground work under intense scrutiny both from exporters and campaigners. It is obviously their job to apply the rules without fear or favour. However, their first priority is, and must be, the welfare of animals and their safe passage to the point of destination.”