§ Andrew George
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions she has had with representatives from(a) the Meat and Livestock Commission, (b) local authorities and (c) the livestock industry about the (i) extent and (ii) impact of livestock market closures. 
§ Mr. Bradshaw
[holding answer 3 November 2003]: In consultation with its stakeholders the Department keeps the network of livestock auction markets throughout the country under review. This includes the extent and impact of closures in view of the importance of these enterprises in the rural economy.