§ Mr. Corbett
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) whether he is satisfied that the 41W Export of Animals (Protection) Order 1981, which prohibits the shipment of any animal likely to give birth during international transport, was properly observed in the shipment of 226 livestock to the Falklands;
(2) whether he is satisfied that the Animals (Sea Transport) Order 1930, which prohibits pregnant animals from embarking from a British port, was properly observed in the shipment of 226 livestock to the Falklands;
(3) whether he is satisfied that the convention for the protection of animals during international transport and European Community Directive 77/489 were properly observed over the shipment of 226 head of livestock on board the Dina Khalaf to the Falklands;
(4) how many animals, by species, died during the 36-day voyage of the Dina Khalaf taking 226 head of livestock to the Falklands;
(5) how many animals, by species, were born aboard the Dina Khalaf during its 36-day journey to the Falklands with a shipment of 226 livestock;
(6) whether he is satisfied that his Department's veterinary surgeons properly carried out their duties under the Export of Animals (Protection) Order 1981 and the Animals (Sea Transport) Order 1930 prior to the embarkation of 226 head of livestock on board the Dina Khalaf for its 36-day journey to the Falklands.
§ Mrs. Fenner
The shipment of livestock arrived in Port Stanley on board the Dina Khalaf on 28 October. It appears from the information given to me so far by the Crown Agents that out of the 220 anima. s loaded at Poole on 22 September one cow and one ram died, whilst six calves were born.
The Animals (Sea Transport) Order of 1930 requires that no pregnant animal shall be permitted by its owner, by his agent, or by any person in charge of the animal, to be embarked on a vessel for carriage from Great Britain, if it is reasonably probable that the animal will normally give birth during the voyage. The Export of Animals (Protection) Order 1981 states that any person wishing to obtain a licence to export a pregnant farm animal shall provide the Minister with information on the stage of pregnancy of the animal. Naturally, I stand ready to take appropriate action in any case where there is firm evidence that the requirements of these orders, or the provisions of the relevant European convention raid Community directive, have been broken.
I am satisfied that my veterinary and marine staff carried out their duties properly prior to the Dina Khalaf's departure for the Falklands. There was no reason for them, on the basis of the information given in the licence application form, or on any other basis, to conclude that any heifers would calve in transit. And they gave extensive advice to the shippers on the arrangements for accommodating the animals.
The arrangements adopted as a result included the provision of isolation pens for the use of animals which might need treatment during the voyage. This, together with the presence of two veterinary surgeons on the voyage, was intended to ensure that any unforeseen incidents could be satisfactorily dealt with.