Gray: Clear position from Government on the live export of horses required
James Gray MP, Shadow Minister for Rural Affairs, today wrote to Alun Michael MP, Minister of State for DEFRA, asking for greater transparency on the live export of horses for human consumption. The text of his letter is as follows:
“As the Council of Ministers meets in Luxembourg I would now be most grateful for your confirmation of your general approach to the live export of horses for human consumption. Do you or do you not intend to press for the UK opt out which I believe is now on offer from the European Parliament, and which the European Commission have publicly stated that they would be open to examining? If you do not intend to press for it, I would be grateful if you would let me know your reasoning for not doing so.
“Second, you continually say you intend to prevent the live export of horses by putting in place stringent welfare conditions which would have that effect for economic if for no other reason. However, with the exception of individual partitions to be used in transporting horses, restricted journeys for unbroken horses and ponies, and EU export health rules on fitness to travel, you have not even begun to spell out what these very stringent welfare conditions could be. Those of us who are sceptical need to be convinced that you are as determined as we are to prevent live export and we need to know precisely how you intend to do so.
“This matter is now a matter of grave concern to the public at large and I have therefore taken the opportunity to release this letter to the press and will happily release your reply.
“It would be helpful if you were able to let me know your views during the course of the Council of Members.”
For further information, please contact Natasha Moore on 0207 984 8047 and 07939 105 471.
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