§ Mr. MacGregor
I have been asked to reply.
My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister is to make a series of visits to all parts of the country and very much hopes to include York.
§ Mr. Gregory
My right hon. Friend will no doubt recall the campaign by animal lovers in York and, in particular, by the York branch of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, to outlaw the export of live horses. Will he accept the grateful thanks of all those involved for the determined stand taken by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food last night, to ensure that our national rules continue and that such deplorable exports do not take place?
§ Mr. MacGregor
I am well aware of the feelings in York. All hon. Members—certainly Conservative Members—are well aware of the concern felt by many at the possibility of changes in relation to our existing trade in horses policy, especially our restrictions on the export of live horses for slaughter. I am sure, therefore, that the whole House will wish to congratulate my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food on securing a most successful outcome to the Community negotiations and on ensuring that our policies on that issue can be maintained.
I would go further. On the directive as a whole, there is no doubt that the United Kingdom has taken the lead in ensuring proper welfare safeguards in the transport of animals and that we have achieved significant improvements. That shows the high priority that we have attached to the matter.