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MP seeks ban in export of live animals to EU

By West Briton  |  Posted: December 27, 2012

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THE MP for Truro and Falmouth has called for a ban on the export of live animals to Europe for slaughter.

Sarah Newton, MP, has presented a petition to Parliament signed by more than 500 Truro and Falmouth residents.

Mrs Newton is one of a group of MPs aiming to change EU regulations on animal exports.

The National Farmers' Union (NFU) said that the current system was "a legitimate and lawful activity".

Under current regulations living animals can be exported from their country of origin to slaughter in another EU country.

Mrs Newton claimed such journeys caused terrible distress to the animals involved.

She said: "I am grateful to all the Truro and Falmouth residents who took the time to circulate and complete my petition to ban live animal exports, and pleased that I had the opportunity to make their voices heard in Parliament."

Mrs Newton praised farmers in Cornwall for their high welfare standards.

She said: "By buying local meat we support these farmers and their welfare first approach, and ensure that animals going to slaughter are not subject to long and stressful journeys.

''I will continue to campaign to end the export of live animals from UK ports and to promote ways in which we can all support more ethical farming methods."

NFU chief livestock adviser Peter Garbutt said: "Moving live animals throughout Europe is a legitimate and lawful activity and subject to comprehensive legislative controls.

"Vehicles used for such journeys must be approved by the authorities, drivers must pass tests to transport animals on longer journeys, all animals travelling out of Great Britain must be approved by a vet before travel and appropriate contingencies are in place to deal with any unforeseen circumstances."

Mr Garbutt said journeys over eight hours or between EU member states made up a very small but important minority of all movements and took place using specially designed vehicles.

The NFU has long called for the current controls to be rigorously enforced across the EU.

"Most farm animals are transported at some stage during their lives for breeding purposes or for further rearing," said Mr Garbutt.

"The key issue is that these animals are transported under the right conditions in order that they arrive at their destination fit and healthy."

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