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Defra has launched a consultation on live exports, proposing to ban livestock movements if the temperature falls outside of the range 5–30 degrees, unless vehicles have a thermo-regulation system.

The proposals also include stricter conditions for poultry, with a temperature range of between 5 and 25 degrees.

In its plans, the government department said there were growing concerns about the requirements for the transport of animals, which did not reflect latest scientific evidence on welfare.

It said that now the UK had left the EU, the government could explore alternative options for animal transport.

The consultation asks respondents what the financial impact would be of prohibiting short and long livestock and poultry journeys if the temperature was outside of the specific ranges, “unless the vehicle is able to regulate the internal temperature within this range for the duration of the journey by means of a thermo-regulation system”.

In addition, the survey asks if there should be a maximum journey time for live animals.

James Russell, president of the British Veterinary Association, said: “Live animal transport is a complex issue which includes varying factors of welfare and needs of different species.

“It is important to recognise that journey length and time are not the only things which can affect welfare, and that an evidence-based approach to improvements is essential.”

The consultation is open until 28 January and can be found here: