1 December 1995

Transport worries

GOVERNMENT proposals for restrictions on livestock transport came in for sharp criticism at the show.

They threaten to discriminate against Britains farming community, and could weaken its competitive position in Europe.

This was the warning from Liberal Democrat rural affairs spokesman, Paul Tyler.

Consultation paper

Last months consultation paper from the Ministry of Agriculture puts Britain at a major disadvantage, he said.

The proposals countered Britains aim of harmonising a European-wide improvement in animal welfare standards.

"The industry must respond swiftly and strenuously. But I hope responsible animal welfare groups will also examine these proposals carefully."

Roland Kershaw-Dalby, National Cattle Breeders Association secretary, said the recent Court ruling – which meant the start of a journey should be defined from the farm of origin – put livestock auction markets under pressure.

NCBA research showed many animals took six and a half hours to go through smaller markets. At larger auction marts throughput was even slower.

"We are facing a scenario where animals will have to be rested for 24 hours at markets, and there are only a very small number which can offer lairage facilities.

"It will mean a considerable investment for both livestock markets and hauliers."