British farmers are up in arms at the prospect of tighter live animal transport rules and a ban on live exports other than for breeding purposes.

The proposals would affect all animals in England and Wales, including those passing through.

The consultation recommends a reduction in journey times for cattle, sheep, poultry and pigs.

It also would put a halt to all transport when the outdoor temperature falls below 5°C or above 30°C, or 25°C for poultry.

The NFU has said that, if these rules were to come into force, it would have a significant impact on the livestock and poultry sectors, without any meaningful benefit in terms of animal welfare.

It is strongly opposed to the inclusion of time at marts in overall journey times.

The Union’s response recommended focus on an animal’s fitness to travel, loading and driver training.

It said the temperature restrictions would have resulted in 56 days of lost trade during colder months.

The English and Welsh proposals would impact all of British, as well as half of Scottish, pigs and sheep, which are slaughtered in England, as well as over 40% of cull cows.