James GRAY   Conservative MP for North Wiltshire

I understand the strength of feeling about this issue and believe animals should be slaughtered locally wherever possible. Under European Union single market rules it is currently illegal to ban the export of animals to other EU countries; there are instead EU and UK laws to protect the welfare of live animals during transport. Amending the 1847 Ports and Harbours Act would not therefore prevent live export.

While the UK negotiates its exit from the European Union, it will remain a member and will continue to exercise the rights and obligations that come with membership. The UK's involvement in EU rules on animal welfare and trade will very probably form part of the exit negotiations, and thereafter policy in this area will be decided by ten UK Government.

The Government will in the meantime  pursue an ever more sustainable approach to the transport of livestock on long journeys.