IT’S not often I would urge Scottish ministers to follow their counterparts in England and Wales, but I’m happy to do so on this occasion.

In 2019, the Farm Animals Welfare Committee published its opinion on the welfare of animals in transport, a detailed and considered document.

One of the recommended key principles asks whether the journey can be replaced by practical measures, eg meat-only trade replacing animals being transported for slaughter.

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Governments within the UK accept the vast bulk of the committee’s recommendations, and are consulting on their response. For England and Wales, a ban on exporting animals for slaughter and fattening is being pursued: “Live export journeys for slaughter and fattening will not be allowed to depart from England or Wales for a destination outside the UK or transit through England or Wales on their way to a destination outside the UK.

“Therefore, live export journeys for slaughter and fattening beginning in Scotland, Northern Ireland or EU member states such as the Republic of Ireland, that are destined for outside the UK, cannot transit through England or Wales. This proposal will not impact on necessary domestic livestock and horse movements between England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.”

No such ban is being proposed by the Scottish Government. Readers may wish to ask the Cabinet Secretary, Mr Ewing, and their MSPs: why not?

Roddie Macpherson

I READ that Germany has implemented tighter border controls in the frontiers with the Czech Republic and Austria`s Tyrol provinces, in an effort to stem the flow of Covid variants. The restrictions limit entry from these areas to German citizens and residents, lorry drivers, transport, and health service staff. Meanwhile, Scotland cannot tighten border controls with England to stem the flow of Covid variants, and protect its citizens. Moral of the story – Germany is an independent nation; Scotland is not.

William C McLaughlin