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Animal Welfare: Transport

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN 2954, tabled on 18 May 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that legislative changes on animal welfare in transport are informed by the most up-to-date science and technology.

Answered on

26 May 2021

The Government is committed to improving the welfare standards of all animal journeys. We are continuously assessing the available scientific evidence on improving animal welfare during transport and are committed to commissioning new research where it is needed in order to develop the evidence base further.

We launched a Call for Evidence, in 2018, on controlling live exports for slaughter and improving animal welfare during transport and, that same year, commissioned Scotland’s Rural University College and the University of Edinburgh to produce a systematic review of the evidence on welfare aspects of the transport of live animals.

The Government asked the then Farm Animal Welfare Committee (FAWC, now Animal Welfare Committee) to provide an opinion on improving the welfare of animals during transport. FAWC considered the evidence obtained from the Call for Evidence; the report of the systematic review; as well as their engagement with stakeholders before submitting their opinion and recommendations.

We launched a consultation in England and Wales in 2020 on improvements to the domestic welfare in transport regime, informed by the recommendations from FAWC’s report. We will shortly be publishing our response to the consultation and outlining how we will take reforms forward.