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Gove explores ban on live animal exports for slaughter
Defra says all options for improving welfare are being considered, including a potential ban on export for slaughter.
Call for evidence to look at options for improving welfare 

The live export of animals for slaughter could be banned after Brexit, the government said as it launched a call for evidence today (10 April).

Over the next six weeks, views will be welcomed from industry, the devolved authorities, charities and members of the public, on how the government could improve animal welfare during transport.

More than 4,000 sheep are transported from the UK to continental Europe for slaughter every year, according to the latest figures from 2016. Defra says all options for improving welfare are being considered, including a potential ban on export for slaughter.

Announcing the call for evidence, environment secretary Michael Gove said: “All animals deserve to get the respect and care they deserve at every stage of their lives.

“This call for evidence begins to deliver on our manifesto commitment which aims to control the export of live animals for slaughter once we leave the European Union.”

BVA president John Fishwick welcomed the ban.

“We believe that production animals should not be transported long distances to the abattoir but should be slaughtered as near to the point of production as possible,” he explained. “Animals should be transported on the hook, as meat, not on the hoof, as live animals.

“It is vital that we maintain the UK’s current high standards of animal welfare post-Brexit and seek opportunities to improve them. We look forward to contributing to this call and seeing the results once the evidence has been collected.”

The Farm Animal Welfare Committee has also launched a review into existing welfare standards, which is being complemented by research from Scotland’s Rural College and the University of Edinburgh.

To share your views, visit: https://consult.defra.gov.uk/animal-health-and-welfare/live-exports-and-improving-welfare-in-transport/

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Report: A third of Welsh birds are in decline

News Story 1
 A report by RSPB Cymru and partnering ornithology organisations has revealed that a third of bird species in Wales are in significant decline.

90 per cent of Wales is farmed and there is now pressure to implement new land management policies that will aid in nature restoration.

Patrick Lindley, Maritime Ornithologist for Natural Resources Wales, commented: “The problems that confront UK birds, whether they are breeding or non-breeding, are pressure and threats that confront entire ecosystems.

“Birds are a great indicator to the health of our environment. The continued population declines of birds of farmed, woodland and upland habitats suggest there are large geographic themes that are having a detrimental impact.”  

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News Shorts
British sheep meat to be exported to India in new agreement

The UK government has secured a new export deal of sheep meat to India.

In 2017, UK sheep meat exports were worth £386 million. This new agreement is predicted to increase this value by £6 million over the next five years.

With a range of meat cuts due to be exported, the deal is seen by international trade secretary, Dr Liam Fox MP, as “another vote of confidence in our world-leading food and drink”.