13 June 1997

Trade ban threat on rogue hauliers

By Boyd Champness

ROGUE hauliers who flout new livestock transport rules will be prevented from trading, MAFF has announced.

Under the new rules, transporters will have to be licensed and MAFF will have the power to withdraw authorisation from negligent transporters who seriously or persistently break the new regulations.

All staff involved in long distance livestock transport will also have to undergo training, or have practical experience, to ensure they are competent to handle animals during transport.

The new regulations, which were due to take effect in January to implement EU rules, will come into force on July 1.

Farm minister Jack Cunningham said the governments preference was to export meat and not live animals to boost UK job opportunities and keep local abattoirs in business.

NFU leader Sir David Naish said the union had always encouraged the slaughter of animals as near to the farm as possible.

"However there is a European market demand for quality British animals and these new rules will ensure farmers have the choice of exporting while meeting wider concerns about transport condition outside the UK."

Animal welfare group Compassion In World Farming welcomed the introduction of licensing.

But it said the legislation did nothing to reduce animal journey times – and in some cases increased them.

CIWF said exporters would only have to comply with minimal rules on vehicle standards to be able to export sheep from Aberdeen to Athens

The new rules set a maximum 8-hour journey time for cattle, sheep, pigs, goats and horses. But if vehicles meet certain standards journey times can be extended.

with varying times.

for different species MAFF intends to announce its vehicle modification standards shortly.