Vets welcome Government consultation on the welfare of livestock at transport


A VETINARY association has welcomed  the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) plans for a consultation on animal welfare.

The consultation by Defra in England and Wales will last for eight weeks and will seek views of live animal export and how to protect the animal’s welfare during transport.

The British Veterinary Association (BVA)  welcomed the announcement today with their president commenting.

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BVA President, James Russell said: “BVA has long believed that animals should be slaughtered as close as possible to where they have been reared and not be exported to countries with unknown standards or standards that are below those in the UK.

“We welcome this consultation looking at all aspects of animal welfare at transport.

“Live animal transport is a complex issue which includes varying factors of welfare and needs of different species.

The BVA further stated today they are not calling for a ban on live animal transport, instead they state that animals should be slaughtered as close to production as possible.

Adding to this the BVA has stated that animals should not be taken to destinations where welfare standards are below the UK minimum.

Mr Russell added: “It is important to recognise that journey length and time are not the only things which can affect welfare, and that an evidence-based approach to improvements is essential.

“We regularly engage with Government on measures to safeguard animal welfare during transport, and recently gave evidence to the Farm Animal Welfare Committee (FAWC), on the issue.

“We will be liaising with our species, specific divisions, and members to form a response to this consultation.”