SNP MEP Welcomes Progress on Horse and Animal Welfare

26 November 2004
"Small canter forward for horse and animal welfare across the EU"

Speaking having analysed the acceptance by the EU Agriculture Ministers of measures to protect and promote the welfare of live animals, including horses, being transported for slaughter into and across the EU, Scottish National Party MEP Mr Alyn Smith has welcomed the advance.

The SNP MEP said:

"I'm glad that finally EU Agriculture Ministers have agreed to protect live animals being transported for slaughter, and glad that I was able to play a small part. The transport of live animals is a very difficult area to legislate for, and I'm pleased to see that the EU will now lead the world in terms of animal welfare.

"Some 165,000 horses are transported to slaughter into or across the EU every year, not to mention countless millions of cows, sheep, goats and pigs. It is important that their welfare is adequately catered for, and I'm pleased that the EU has taken a lead, it is now for the member states to ensure that the standards are lived up to.

"That is not to say that the compromise is perfect, that the work is finished, as there remains much to be done. Journey times and stocking density were particularly troubled negotiations, and these issues will come back to the Council before long.

"For today though, I'm happy enough to give a thumbs up to the agreement."