§ Ms Atherton
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on the progress of the European Commission's proposals for the transportation of horses and donkeys to slaughter. 
§ Mr. Morley
The European Commission proposals for changes to the welfare of animals during transport Directive (91/628/EEC), which includes rules on the transport of horses for slaughter, are still awaited.
David Byrne, European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection, indicated on 4 April that proposals would be announced in the "not too distant future" during a speech to the Veterinary Officers Association of Ireland.
We hope proposals will be released soon and look forward to a major role in negotiations. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has already called for a reduction in the maximum journey times permitted for slaughter animals.