Commons debate on possible ban sparks fresh calls to maintain live exports
A debate in the House of Commons on ending the export of live animals for slaughter has sparked fresh calls for live trade to continue in the UK. The Institute of Auctioneers and Appraisers in Scotland (IAAS) is urging the Westminster Government not to impose a ban on live exports which it says is crucial for a competitive marketplace.
MPs last night (Monday) discussed the possibility of banning live exports of livestock from the UK after a petition gained enough support to prompt parliament to call a debate on the issue. The petition states: “The government should plan legislation to ban the export of live farm animals in favour of a carcass-only trade and introduce this as soon as we leave the EU.”
Scott Donaldson, IAAS President said:
“Live exports are crucial in achieving a fair price in the marketplace and we are urging MPs to ensure live trade out of the UK is allowed to continue. Animal welfare and transport in the UK are, and will remain, amongst the best and most highly regulated throughout the EU.
“Ideally Scottish cattle and sheep should be bred, reared, slaughtered and consumed in Scotland but this is not always possible and in some cases live export is the only option to allow our industry to remain competitive.”
The National Farmers Union is proposing a full live export scheme focusing on transparency and scrutiny to allow the UK to continue to lead the way in welfare standards, a proposal which the IAAS believes could have merits.
Research has shown that where livestock are transported in accordance with existing EU legal requirements, there is no adverse impact on animal welfare or the performance of the animals.
Scott Donaldson, IAAS President added:
“There is no difference between export for further breeding and feeding and slaughter, this is a commercial trade where animal welfare is a key priority for the exporter, transporter and purchaser ensuring the product is not devalued as a result of the transport. If the welfare of the animals were affected the purchaser would not be willing to pay a fair price. All stakeholders have a shared interest in high animal welfare standards.”
Notes to Editors
The Institute of Auctioneers and Appraisers in Scotland (IAAS) is the representative body for livestock markets, valuers and auctioneers across Scotland. We fight for the interests of those markets and the central role they play in the working of the rural and agricultural economy.
The Institute advances the interests of our membership and the wider sector through:
- Promoting the livestock market system as the only transparent way to secure the best price and guaranteed payment for everyone playing their part in the rural economy
- Working with politicians and governments to influence regulations so that they strengthen Scotland’s farming industry
- Promoting the achievements of our diverse client base, speaking out on their behalf on the many challenges they face
- Collating and making available the latest information on prices achieved across Scotland’s markets, providing a critical real-time insight into the agricultural economy
- Developing a solid education and examination structure to nurture new talent for livestock auction markets
- Providing an indispensible social hub for farmers and farming communities