Ian Hudghton (Greens/EFA) – I fully support the principle of legislation aimed at high levels of animal protection and I accept that legislation relating to transportation is most appropriately dealt with at the EU level. That legislation must however be based in reality and respect must be had for the huge geographical and economic diversity of this continent. Calls in this House to have a blanket ban for journeys over eight hours ignore those realities. Parts of Scotland's highlands, islands and southern uplands for example are often far from markets or abattoirs and lengthy journeys are a necessity. Fragile local economies producing some of Europe's finest foodstuffs would suffer as a result of such a ban. This House must reject calls for the ban in order to prevent a 21st century round of Highland Clearances.

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