To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of (a) trends in the level of non-compliant movement of equines with (i) fraudulent and (ii) non-existent documentation and (b) the potential effect on biosecurity and animal welfare of conducting spot checks on equines entering at ports after the UK leaves the EU.
The Animal and Plant Health Agency does not hold the information requested because fraudulent or non-compliant movements are not recordable on the TRACES system. It also does not record, in most cases, the ports of departure or entry for equines moving to or from the EU. The information requested is best covered by the local authority and the Intelligence and Regulation Hub.
However, horses with fraudulent or non-existent documentation that are illegally moved would be covered by equine identification legislation in England. The local authorities have a statutory duty to enforce the regulations. Also, there is statutory duty on local authorities to deliver an annual prosecutions return under the Animal Health Act 1981. This information is collated and presented to Parliament at the end of March by APHA and subsequently published (on GOV.UK). This return provides details of expenditure incurred and prosecutions taken under the Act and incidences of disease in imported animals, which details successful prosecutions undertaken by local authorities in England.