§ Mr. Sawford
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many checks were carried out in respect of live animal imports at British ports of entry in each year from 1990 to the latest year for which figures are available. 
§ Mr. Rooker
Council Directive 90/425/EEC of 26 June 1990 (as amended) abolished systematic veterinary checks on live animals at internal European Community frontiers. It provides instead for a system of checks at points of origin and random spot checks at points of destination.
Council Directive 91/496/EEC (as amended) concerns veterinary checks on imports entering the Community from third countries and requires that consignments enter the European Community only through an approved Border Inspection Post (BIP). At the Border Inspection Post they must be subjected to documentary, identity, and physical checks before entering free circulation within the Community.
Statistics concerning the number of veterinary checks carried out at Border Inspection Posts (third country imports only) are readily available for 1994 to 1998. Records for earlier years are not available in a form which would permit the extraction of corresponding figures without disproportionate cost.
Year Number of veterinary checks on consignments carried out at border inspection posts1 (third country imports) 1994 6,797 1995 6,550 1996 4,805 1997 7,238 1998 8,826 1 Based on the number of border crossing certificates issued.