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I am writing as a constituent, who is concerned about the conditions of livestock during transport. It is widely accepted that to ensure the animal’s welfare it should be fattened as near to where it is slaughtered as possible. However, where animals are required to be transported, the following points should be considered the minimum for animal welfare.
- All animals should be examined for injuries prior to transportation.
- Water should be provided to animals during transportation (requiring breaks in the journey if necessary) to prevent dehydration.
- Ventilation systems are essential for all animals during all methods of transport.
- Pigs should be fasted before transport, to prevent risk of heart attack, which occurs after over-feeding.
- Cattle should be provided with sufficient space to stand without contact with their neighbours and to lie down if the journey is more than 12 hours.
- Ending live exports.
On top of these domestic demands, I would like to see pressure being put on the EU as well.
Too often cattle are transported from within the EU to the Middle East where they are then slaughtered outside of EU regulations. Examples of this include cattle being transported from Latvia to Iraq and from Ireland to Libya. A journey such as this in extremely cramped conditions is stressful for the animals and can result in dehydration, aggression to other animals and in many cases needless death.
I hope in your capacity as MP you will give consideration to this necessary reform and pressure other legislators to follow suit.