HC Deb 09 November 1999 vol 337 c498W
Mr. Prosser

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what steps he is taking to discourage vessels which carry live farm animals from Dover to the continent from sailing(a) during severe weather conditions and (b) when severe weather conditions are forecast. [97552]

Mr. Morley

MAFF officials on duty at Dover docks have instructions to follow on any occasion when a vessel operator intends to carry livestock for slaughter or further fattening when wind conditions are forecast to reach Force 7 or more during the voyage, and/or the sea state is forecast as rough or worse. These instructions require them to discuss with the master of the vessel his legal obligation to consider if the animals are likely to be caused injury or unnecessary suffering due to adverse weather or sea conditions likely to be encountered during the voyage. If the master decides to sail but our staff have grounds to consider that animals may suffer, they have the legal powers to prevent him from transporting the animals.