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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
(1) what recent discussions she has had with (a) the EU Commission and (b) her EU ministerial counterparts on the rules surrounding the transport of livestock;
(2) what recent discussions she had with (a) the European Commission and (b) her EU counterparts on the rules on the transport of livestock.
I have met informally with Commissioner Dalli to discuss, among other issues, the subject of the Commission's report on the impact of the welfare in transport legislation. In addition, DEFRA officials have also played a full part in the Council working party (involving all member states) responsible for drawing up the draft Council conclusions on the transport report, which were agreed at the Agriculture and Fisheries Council meeting on
At this meeting, I introduced a note for the minutes of the meeting which made it clear that while the UK Government could agree with the EU Commission that enforcement of the existing legislation should be the number one priority, we were, nevertheless, disappointed that the Commission was not adopting the European Food Safety Authority's recommendation to reduce the maximum journey time for horses going to slaughter to 12 hours. I also underlined our concern that more should be done to protect infant livestock, such as calves, during long journeys.