Written Answers. - Export of Horses and Ponies.

Brendan Howlin

Ceist:

164 Mr. Howlin asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food the steps he proposes to take to discourage the export of live horses and ponies from this country after 1992; and whether he has any proposals to ensure that adequate control and monitoring is provided in relation to such exports, in the light of proposed EC legislation on the transport of equines within the Community.

The EC Commission has submitted to the council draft proposals for the protection of animals (including equines) during transport. These are designed to cater for the situation arising after 1992 and provide for a high level of welfare protection, which will be uniformly applicable throughout the Community and will include provision for monitoring by a Commission veterinary inspectorate.

I will endeavour to ensure that the final measures when adopted will reflect the highest level of welfare consistent with reasonable trade requirements.