§ 3.7 p.m.
§ Lord GRIDLEY
My Lords, I beg leave to ask the Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.
§ The Question was as follows:
§ To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they are satisfied that the legal conditions applicable under the Rabies Order 1974 to the import of animals through Heathrow Airport are being observed.
The MINISTER of STATE, MINISTRY of AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES and FOOD (Earl Ferrers)
My Lords, the Government are satisfied that the terms and conditions of the 1974 order are widely observed.
§ Lord GRIDLEY
My Lords, while thanking my noble friend the Minister for his reply, may I ask him whether it is not a fact that, under an informal Ministry and airlines animal dealers agreement at Heathrow, live animals are being imported through Heathrow to transit sheds or cargo sheds, and not direct to the quarantine station, and that thus they are for many hours under no supervision at all? Does this not invite abuse of the Rabies Order?
My Lords, when an animal is imported to Heathrow it goes into a holding facility, where it may stay for up to four hours, to be collected from there by an appropriate carrying agent, who will take it to the quarantine kennel. If it has to stay for longer than four hours, it will then go to the animal quarantine centre, where it can stay for 48 hours before going to a quarantine kennel.
§ Lord DRUMALBYN
My Lords, would my noble friend remind the House what animals are covered by the Rabies Order?
Several, my Lords: dogs, cats, jackals, foxes, wolves, bears, raccoons, coatis, pandas, otters, weasels, martens, polecats, badgers, skunks, mink, ratels, flying lemurs, anteaters, sloths, armadillos, hyraxes, tree-shrews, lemurs, indrises, sifakas, aye-ayes, lorises, bush-babies, tarsiers, titis, uakaris, sakis, howlers and several others.