Animal exports have started up from the Port of Dover again. I want to see this banned and today I asked the Government what they were doing to facilitate this:
[Will the Minister] consider banning live animal exports from British ports?
David Heath (Defra Minister): Banning the export of live animals would be illegal and undermine the principle of the free movement of goods enshrined in the treaty on the functioning of the European Union.
Charlie Elphicke: My constituents are concerned about live animal exports: they think them bad for animal welfare and the local economy. Will the Minister confirm that no amendment could be made to any of the harbours or ports Acts that would be effective in tackling this cruel and unwanted trade?
David Heath: The key piece of legislation here is the Harbours, Docks and Piers Clauses Act 1847, which would be a singularly inappropriate vehicle for any such ban, because its aim is to ensure that ports are available to all without discrimination. Even were one to set that side, however, no such ban would be legal under the free trade rules that this country is not only a signatory to, but the architect of.
I will keep pressing the Governement to act.
It has been an honour and privilege to serve as Member of Parliament for Dover & Deal. I hope to be re-elected to serve our community for another term.
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