§ Mr. Coaker
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what steps he is taking to persuade his European Union partners to give a high priority during negotiations to revise WTO rules ensuring that the EU can maintain and improve its standards of farm animal welfare; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Ms Quin
The conclusions of the EU Agriculture Council on 27 September 1999 and the General Affairs Council on 25 October 1999 committed the EU to taking forward the issue of farm animal welfare in the WTO negotiations. The UK has been a strong support of this commitment, which was reinforced by the Prime Minister in his Action Plan for Farming, published on 30 March 2000, and we will be seeking to take it forward in the negotiations on agriculture which have now started.