Chief vet urges farmers to respond to live export consultation

Northern Ireland’s chief veterinary officer Robert Huey has urged the industry to respond to a UK-wide review on the live export of farm animals.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is seeking views on controlling live exports of farm animals for slaughter once the UK has left the European Union, in order to improve animal welfare.

Higher standards for animal movements

This exercise, which will also examine higher welfare standards for live animal movements, was launched by Environment Secretary Michael Gove on behalf of the UK government and devolved administrations of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Gove stated that all options will be considered and he is keen to hear from industry, the devolved authorities and charities in relation to this issue.

A number of future improvements in this area are being considered by Defra, including a potential ban on the live export of animals for slaughter.

Huey said: “As the agricultural industry in Northern Ireland is involved in the transportation of significant volumes of live animals to Great Britain, Ireland and to other European member states, I would encourage all key stakeholders to make their voices heard.

“In order to create a complete and rounded picture, I would encourage anyone with an interest in this area to consider the document and submit evidence.”

The call for evidence, which will last for six weeks, was launched today (April 10).

Defra has indicated that it will discuss the evidence and any future proposals with the devolved administrations, including Northern Ireland.

Responses can be made through a survey on the Defra website.