Animal Welfare in the EU Apr03
across Suffolk and Essex could soon be blighted by the sight of dead
cattle under Government plans to implement a new law from Brussels on the
disposal of animal carcasses, which comes into force 30 April.
the proposals, farmers will be banned from burying dead cattle, sheep and
pigs on their land, as has always been normal practice, and instead will
be forced to pay up to £50 per pig, cow or sheep to have them collected
East of England has the largest percentage of pig and poultry farmers in
the country, yet no incinerators have been set up in the area to cope with
the thousands of carcasses that will have to be disposed of each year.
other European Union member states, government-funded collection schemes
are in operation, but the British Government has so far refused to pay for
its introduction here. With only four weeks left before the ban is
introduced, I think it is highly unlikely that special collection vehicles
will be available to pick up odd carcasses from rural areas. As these
carcasses are likely to remain unburied for weeks, this could cause
considerable health risks.
is yet another example of our own Labour Government signing up to EU
legislation without giving proper thought to its implementation. The
farming industry approached the Government over 18 months ago, but no plan
has been drawn up. We now
face the prospect of a repeat of the fridge mountain saga - only this time
it will be much more unpleasant. Your Conservative MEPs are continuing to
lobby the Department for Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs in London
to help with the expense of disposal so that farmers will not be burdened
with additional costs.
welfare is also high on the Conservatives' agenda at the European
Parliament. Recently, we tabled a formal resolution calling for urgent and
decisive action on long-distance transport of live animals. This follows
the news that pigs were recently kept in a truck for 90 hours on a journey
from Holland to Greece while in Poland, horses have suffered journeys of
five days without rest, food or water.
2001, we called on the Commission to enforce existing EU legislation, and
also to accept our recommendation for a maximum limit of 8 hours or 500
kilometres on journeys for slaughter or further fattening. No action has
been taken. We have asked for the signatures of all MEPs, from all
political parties and nationalities, to get rid of these barbaric
practices that have no place in the 21st century.
a positive note, a new law passed by the European Parliament in Brussels
two weeks ago means that consumers will soon have a guarantee that the
tuna they buy is dolphin friendly. Thanks to a tracking and verification
system, which will ensure the correct labeling of all tuna, fishermen and
dealers currently using environmentally unfriendly methods will no longer
be able to pass off their fish as being dolphin friendly.
in our region want to enjoy tuna in the knowledge that dolphins have not
been harmed, so this system should put an end to rogue fishing and protect
the dolphin population.