§ Mr. Morley
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) what facilities his Department has at the port of Poole for veterinary checks; and if every live animal export consignment is given those checks;
(2) if health certificates covering live animal consignments give the total travelling time from market to destination; and what checks his Department makes to ensure that total travelling time under EC directives for animals in transit is not breached from market to European destination.
§ Mr. Soames
As I explained in my reply of 9 February at c.553–54, Community law does not permit systematic checks on livestock at the Community's internal frontiers. However at the port of Poole, state veterinary service staff are available to carry out checks on a random basis to ensure that animals are healthy and being transported in conditions that protect their welfare.
The Welfare of Animals during Transport Order 1992 requires that a certificate detailing the origin and ownership accompany each consignment of animals. The certificate must also include details of their place of departure, place of destination and the date and time of departure of the consignment. For journeys exceeding 24 hours a journey plan is required showing the arrangements made for the animals to be rested, fed and watered, and, if necessary, unloaded and given accommodation appropriate to their species and the arrangement for feeding and watering in the event that the planned journey is changed or disrupted.
For journeys to other member states, local veterinary inspectors are required to certify the health of animals and their fitness to travel. These inspections may take place at a market where the market is being used as an assembly centre. Otherwise the inspections would take place either at the place of origin or where the journey commences.