Rural and Environment
Rural Affairs Minister updates Parliament on proposals to protect the welfare of animals during transport
Following closure of the public consultation on the recommendations made by the Farm Animal Welfare Committee in its Opinion on the Welfare of Animals During Transport, the Minister for Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment Ben Macpherson has today updated Parliament on the Scottish Government’s current considerations.
Mr Macpherson said:
“We understand the concerns raised by those across Scotland regarding the recommendations made by the Farm Animal Welfare Committee in its opinion on the Welfare of Animals During Transport. We are clear that we will continue to protect the needs and interests of Scottish farmers and crofters and will not support any attempt to change rules on transport of livestock within the UK which would disproportionately affect our rural and island communities. Farmers and crofters across Scotland play a vital role in sustaining rural communities, by providing healthy, quality food and drink, helping to combat climate change and creating sustainable jobs.
“Ensuring the highest standards of animal welfare is a priority for this government and we are always looking to enhance these standards. We recognise that all journeys have an impact on the welfare of animals and we believe that ‘the three R’s approach’ should apply – asking can journeys be replaced, reduced and refined. We will work alongside the other UK administrations to seek to end the unnecessary export of livestock for slaughter or fattening to countries outside of the UK.
“We will now carefully analyse the responses to the consultation and work closely with the other UK administrations and stakeholders before any proposals to amend existing legislation are made.”
The consultation on the recommendations made by the Farm Animal Welfare Committee in its Opinion on the Welfare of Animals During Transport closed on 26 February.
The full response to the parliamentary question can be viewed here – https://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/117179.aspx