NFU responds to new welfare in transport measures

Vice President Stuart Roberts at a farm in Hertfordshire

The NFU has responded to the outcome of the government’s consultation on new welfare in transport measures.

NFU Deputy President Stuart Roberts said:

“Animal welfare is always a top priority for any livestock or poultry farmer and we maintain that new rules or policy should be based on sound evidence and the latest science."

Changes made by Defra include:

  • Removing restrictions applying to sea transport in certain weather conditions for domestic journeys.
  • Removing lower temperature restrictions on livestock transport for short journeys.
  • Excluding vehicle loading and unloading in journey time limits for poultry.

Read the NFU's consultation response

The NFU made a full response to Defra's Welfare in Transport consultation in February 2021.

Read our response on behalf of members in full, as well as a summary of its key points: NFU submits response to Welfare in Transport consultation

Mr Roberts said:

“We’re pleased to see in some areas Defra has taken account of the evidence we presented and made changes to its proposals.

“However, we’re disappointed that other elements are not more meaningfully welfare-focused, utilising driver training and experience. For example, we are frustrated that our proposal for a live export assurance scheme has been overlooked, which would have ensured UK rules on transport and processing would have followed animals to other countries.

“We believe basing a transport ban purely on its purpose, in this case for slaughter, is not logical given that farmers and transporters have an inherent interest in ensuring all journeys meaningfully protect welfare at all stages and types of movement.

“We are pleased to see that Defra is committed to working collaboratively with the industry in this area and we stand ready to support further policy development to improve welfare at transport.”