Animal Welfare — Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 11:06 am on 14th June 2012.

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Photo of Lord de Mauley Lord de Mauley Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip) 11:06 am, 14th June 2012

My Lords, I have a lot of sympathy with the noble Lord's words. We would prefer to see the export of meat or germ plasm rather than of livestock, and that animals are slaughtered as close as is practical to their point of production. However, the export of livestock for slaughter within the EU is perfectly legal. To ban it would be illegal under existing EU competition legislation. That legal position has been confirmed by rulings by the European Court of Justice and by High Court cases. The Government are committed to improving the welfare of animals. If animals are exported live, their transportation should comply fully with the necessary legal requirements as laid down in EU and national law.