Animal Welfare

Oral Answers to Questions — Agriculture, Fisheries and Food – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 4th December 1997.

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Photo of Mr Iain Coleman Mr Iain Coleman Labour, Hammersmith and Fulham 12:00 am, 4th December 1997

When he last met representatives of the major animal welfare organisations. [17673]

Photo of Elliot Morley Elliot Morley Parliamentary Secretary (Fisheries and the Countryside), Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food

My colleagues and I have had a number of meetings with the major welfare organisations.

Photo of Mr Iain Coleman Mr Iain Coleman Labour, Hammersmith and Fulham

I thank my hon. Friend for his reply. Will the Government be supporting the Bill introduced by my hon. Friend the Member for Newport, West (Mr. Flynn) to improve the welfare of animals in quarantine? Can he confirm that the days of animals being kept away from their owners for long periods will soon come to an end? That would be particularly welcome to elderly residents in my constituency.

Photo of Elliot Morley Elliot Morley Parliamentary Secretary (Fisheries and the Countryside), Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food

I can confirm that, we support the principle behind the Bill—improving welfare standards in quarantine establishments. Furthermore, we shall publish a list of the establishments that have signed up to the MAFF voluntary code.

Photo of Crispin Blunt Crispin Blunt Conservative, Reigate

Is the Minister aware that, when I go to my constituency tomorrow to meet representatives of the National Farmers Union—the organisation that looks after more animals than any other—I shall take a copy of today'sHansard to show how much the Government care about agriculture?

Photo of Elliot Morley Elliot Morley Parliamentary Secretary (Fisheries and the Countryside), Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food

I am not sure what that has to do with the question. The message that the hon. Gentleman should take to the farmers is that the Government are aware of their concerns and are following the budget for farm support laid down by the previous Government.