Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2012-12-11-Speech-2-593-000"

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"Mr President, firstly may I thank the rapporteur for his work on this very important subject. It is an emotive subject which must not be used to undo the good work which agriculture and transport sectors have already done to date. Great advances have been made in improving animal welfare standards during transport – state-of-the-art livestock trailers, greater training and requirements placed on haulage companies, journey planners and rest stop facilities. It is not in the interests of the haulier or the farmer for livestock to suffer during transport and we should encourage the industry as a whole to adopt best practice and compliance with the law. As with so many pieces of EU regulation, we need greater clarity to reduce the ambiguities. With greater clarity we may experience a reduction in the need for interpretations of the rules between Member States. Currently we have a regulation which, I believe, is not adequately enforced across the EU, and before introducing more regulation we should tackle the current non-compliance. The ability to export live animals is extremely important to peripheral regions and the Northern Ireland economy. It allows farmers a greater range of potential buyers. Restricting the ability to export live animals exposes farmers to the mercy of local slaughtering plants which, with no other competing market, will have an extremely dominant position in the market place. We need high animal welfare standards but we also need a balance between the practical and the enforceable."@en1

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