New tough welfare regulations controlling the export of livestock from the European Union have been ordered by the European Commission.

Coming into force from 1 October, they state that reinforced checks must be made on the health of animals in transit at their exit point from the EU and where they are initially unloaded in an importing country.

The rules also insist that exporters may lose all available export refunds if “a given percentage or number of the animals has died, given birth or aborted during transport, or falls otherwise short of inspection requirements.”

“Experience has shown the need to reinforce existing requirements,” said a Commission statement.