The British Association of Sheep Exporters has a strict code of practice which is obligatory on all members. During the last year great efforts have been made to create a better understanding by traders on the Continent of the need for a Community regulation that controlled feeds, water, resting and travelling times. The compromise before the ministers on Tuesday would have achieved this first objective.
Research had been commissioned by the European Commission into transportation and resting times, also handling, loading and unloading arrangements which actually cause more stress than transportation. When this work is completed, the regulation can then be amended if necessary.
Farmers and traders treat the welfare of their animals as an absolute priority and co-operate fully in areas of research, recognising that to be meaningful, regulations need to have a scientific basis. Campaigns designed to appeal to emotion and to pitch readers against those who are doing their best to improve the handling and transport of animals do nothing to progress either regulations, a better understanding, or the animals' welfare.
British Association of Sheep Exporters
Crawley, West Sussex