Thank you for contacting me about live animal exports and the 1847 Ports and Harbours Act.

I appreciate the strength of feeling about this issue, and share your belief animals should be slaughtered locally where possible. However, it is my understanding that under European Union single market rules, it is illegal to ban the export of animals to other EU countries. Whilst there are strong EU and UK laws to protect the welfare of live animals during transportation, amending the 1847 Ports and Harbours Act could not effectively circumvent this legislation.

Of course, the UK’s involvement in EU rules on animal welfare and trade will likely form part of exit negotiations, with future policy in this area coming under scrutiny.

Whilst I am assured that the Government will continue to pursue a more sustainable approach to the transport of livestock on long journeys – and has already called on the EU Commission to update the rules on welfare during transport – I will write to Ministers at the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to raise concerns.