§ Mr. Lawrence
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) what standards have been agreed by the countries of the EEC for the humane treatment of live animals in transit;103W
(2) what steps have been taken in the past 12 months to ensure that the standards agreed by the EEC countries for the humane treament of live animals in transit are or will be enforced by (a) the United Kingdom and (b) each of the remaining EEC countries.
§ Mr. Strang
All EEC member States have national laws requiring the humane treatment of animals in transit. In addition, all these countries, with the exception of the Netherlands, have ratified the Council of Europe Convention for the Protection of Animals in International Transport. It is expected that the Netherlands will ratify shortly. It is Community policy that all member States should observe this Convention, and it has been agreed in principle that the Community as an entity should subscribe to the Convention, thereby giving it the force of Community law.
The United Kingdom has implemented the provisions of the Convention since 1973. Additionally, the Transit of Animals (Road and Rail) Order 1975, which consolidated and improved the regulations protecting the welfare of animals in transit, has been operative since 1st August 1975. Enforcement of this Order is undertaken by local authorities. Enforcement of the national welfare laws in foreign countries is normally a matter for the Governments of the countries concerned but in appropriate cases infringements of the Council of Europe Convention can be taken up through the Council of Europe.