New rules improve welfare for live exports

14 July 1998

New rules improve welfare for live exports

By FWi staff<

LIVE animal exporters will no longer be able to choose the veterinary surgeon of their choice – to inspect sheep and pigs before departure – under new rules proposed by government.

The government yesterday released a consultation paper designed to provide better protection and higher welfare standards for animals being exported live.

Elliot Morley, junior farm minister, said the proposed changes are aimed at ensuring that animals are healthy and fit to travel. The paper applies to sheep and pigs, other than breeding animals, destined for other EC member states.

The paper proposes to:

  • Establish a new panel of veterinary surgeons from which MAFF will nominate the person to conduct these types of certifications.

  • Lay down minimum times for these veterinary inspections to take place.

  • Give panel members increased powers to prevent animals embarking on journeys.

    Under the changes, exporters would pay MAFF in advance for these veterinary inspections and MAFF would pay a fixed hourly fee based on the time taken for this work to veterinarians. This would put a stop to the current situation where exporters pay veterinarians directly for their services.

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