New rules on live animal transport

Plans to ban the export of live animals for slaughter and fattening will be unveiled by Defra today, with Scotland likely to launch its own consultation on the issue shortly.

The UK Government consultation also includes other measures to improve the welfare of animals in transit including reduced maximum journey times, more space and headroom during transport, stricter rules on transporting animals in extreme temperatures and tighter rules for transporting live animals by sea.

Previously moves to ban live exports had been resisted by the Scottish Government over fears that transport from the country’s many island communities where high welfare systems are used could suffer in such an event.

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NFU Scotland Animal Health and Welfare Policy Manager, Penny Middleton said:

“Industry has been led to expect a UK-wide consultation on live exports today and a further Scottish consultation on animal transport is also expected soon.

“First and foremost, Scotland has an excellent record on delivering good animal welfare during transport and abiding by the rules to ensure animals are well looked after when they leave the farm,” said Middleton.

She said that Scotland’s geography meant domestic transport was an essential for the livestock industry:

“That has seen the use of innovative, welfare-friendly transport solutions particularly when shipping livestock from some of our islands.

“We will await to see the details in both consultations and NFU Scotland will comment further when we know what changes are proposed and what impact they may have on farmers and crofters.”