§ Mr. Rooker
Our strong preference is for cattle to be exported as meat rather than as live animals. Nevertheless, we recognise that, at the present moment, export refunds continue to be an economic reality. The EU beef sector remains in structural surplus and if these exports did not take place, the beef would probably be offered into intervention at considerably higher cost to the EU budget.
As part of our commitment to improving animal welfare, we successfully pressed for the adoption of an EU Council Regulation which provides that the payment of refunds for live animals is subject to compliance with Community legislation concerning animal welfare and, in particular, the protection of animals during transport. We consider that this will help achieve our aim to reduce the number of live animals being exported to third countries and traded within the Community and ensure that those animals that are exported receive an appropriate standard of welfare.
The UK fishing fleet: 1988, 1993 and 1998 Total UK fishing fleet of which: Coastal vessels Vessels under 10 metres Deep water vessels Vessels over 27 metres Vessels between 10 and 27 metres At end-years Numberof vessels Registered tonnage Number of vessels Registered tonnage Number of vessels Registered tonnage Number of vessels Registered tonnage 19881 8,132 145,377 2— 2— 2— 2— 2— 2— 1993 11,108 213,667 7,666 25,363 289 90.357 3,153 97,946 1997 7,809 206,308 5,470 19,135 281 111,951 2,058 75,221 1Figures refer to the active fleet and are on a different basis from the later figures which relate to the registered fleet 2 Not available