§ Mr. David Nicholson
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what arrangements he proposes to make for export of farm animals to Spain.
§ Mr. Gummer
As announced in the reply given to my hon. Friend the Member for Brighton, Kemptown (Mr. Bowden) on 10 December, at columns762–63, new arrangements for safeguarding the welfare of animals in transport will apply in 1993. In accordance with Community law, there will be veterinary inspection of animals for export at the start of the journey.
Under the current arrangements, licences for export of animals for rearing or slaughter in Spain have been withheld because of doubts about compliance with Community welfare legislation in that country. The licensing system will no longer apply from January 1993, but these controls will be replaced by specific safeguards for ensuring that animals exported for slaughter in Spain are slaughtered in accordance with Community welfare legislation. Under these arrangements, any animals from the United Kingdom for immediate slaughter in Spain will only be sent to slaughterhouses that have been confirmed by the Spanish authorities as meeting Community welfare requirements. These arrangements are the subject of a formal agreement between the United Kingdom and Spanish authorities and will be kept under careful review.