HC Deb 13 June 1995 vol 261 cc512-3W
Mr. Morley

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in what circumstances sheep may be exported for outdoor religious slaughter, and in what circumstances such slaughter conforms with EU slaughter and hygiene regulations. [27106]

Mrs. Browning

Directive 91/628/EEC on the protection of animals during transport contains measures subject to which the transport of animals between member states is permitted. The provisions of this directive are implemented in our national law by the Welfare of Animals during Transport Order 1994, as amended.

As for slaughter, this is covered by directive 93/119/EC on the protection of animals at the time of slaughter or killing which recognises the particular requirements of certain religious rites. The directive also requires that all animals, including sheep slaughtered by a religious method outdoors, are spared any avoidable excitement, pain or suffering during their movement, lairaging, restraint or slaughter. However, outdoor religious slaughter is carried out for the owner of the animal and the meat derived from the animal is returned to the owner for his own use. As no sale is involved, such slaughter is not required to comply with EU hygiene rules, which apply only to the slaughter of animals whose flesh is intended to be placed on the market and require such slaughter to take place in approved premises.

Ms Glenda Jackson

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the estimated number of sheep and lambs that die, each year, in transit from the United Kingdom. [26957]

Mrs. Browning

No such estimates are made.

Mr. Redmond

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food on what grounds he has decided not to implement article 36 of the treaty of Rome in respect of imposing export restrictions on grounds of public morality, public policy or the health of animals; and if he will make a statement. [27338]

Mrs. Browning

My right hon. Friend has set out in some detail the legal reasons why article 36 of the treaty of Rome is not available to justify imposing restrictions on the export of live animals. I refer the hon. Member to the reply he gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Thanet, North (Mr. Gale) and the hon. Member for Great Grimsby (Mr. Mitchell) on 2 February 1995,Official Report, columns 846–47.