Secretary of State Invited to View Live Animal Transport

NFU Scotland and Serco NorthLink Ferries invite Michael Gove to view shipping system from Northern Isles to Aberdeen as part of UK Government’s call for evidence on live exports and animal transport.

NFU Scotland and Serco NorthLink Ferries have jointly invited the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Michael Gove to view first-hand the excellent standards of animal welfare associated with the shipment of cattle from Orkney and Shetland to Aberdeen.

Earlier this month, the UK Government published a call for evidence on controlling live exports for slaughter and improving animal welfare during transport as part of their planning for livestock movement after the UK leaves the EU.  

NFU Scotland President Andrew McCornick said: “Livestock welfare is a top priority for Scottish livestock farmers and we appreciate that live animal transport is an emotive issue for many.  

“The safe transport of animals around Scotland is an intrinsic part of our livestock industry and animal welfare is taken very seriously both for the reputation and quality of Scottish produce. Indeed, the assurance schemes under which the vast majority of livestock products are produced extend across the life of the animal, ensuring welfare is protected throughout the whole chain including transport.

 “In our response to Westminster’s call for evidence, we will demonstrate how high standards for animal movement – whether set by the EU, assurance schemes or through industry collaboration – are already adhered to. The cassette system that is operated by Serco NorthLink Ferries travelling from the Northern Isles to Aberdeen is an excellent example of transport from the Scottish islands where welfare of stock is at the forefront - from loading, to shipping, to unloading.

“Having seen the system in operation, I am convinced that it is an example of best practice in the movement of animals which we would be delighted to have an opportunity to show to the Secretary of State and his officials.”

Also signing the letter of invite to Michael Gove was Kris Bevan, Freight Manager at Serco NorthLink Ferries. Kris added: “The cassette system operated by Serco NorthLink Ferries travelling from the Northern Isles to Aberdeen ensures the welfare of animals travelling by ferry. In a process developed jointly by industry and ferry operators, animals are moved on assured vehicles that are properly secured to the ferry in specially designed containers.”

Notes to Editors

  • For a photograph of the Serco NorthLink cassette system for transporting animals from Orkney and Shetland to Aberdeen contact


Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006

Author: Bob Carruth

Date Published:

News Article No.: 52/18

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