HC Deb 20 April 2004 vol 420 c428W
Andrew George

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent assessment she has made of regulations which affect horses and ponies as(a) food producing, (b) agricultural and (c) pet or companion animals. [166443]

Alun Michael

We have been working on revisions to the Horse Passports (England) Regulations 2003, and to European legislation on animal welfare during transport and on veterinary medicines; reviewing national legislation on animal welfare (including regulation of tethering, livery yards and riding establishments); and working with the horse industry to develop a 10-year health and welfare strategy. The Ragwort Control Act, which is part of our work on animal welfare, came into force in February and was accompanied by a regulatory impact assessment. The Act provides for a Code of Practice on the Control of Ragwort, which should be in place towards the end of June. We recently issued the draft Code, and a draft environmental appraisal, for public consultation. Last month we published the first-ever research on the horse industry as a whole, Jointly funded by the Department and the British Horse Industry Confederation.

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