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Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 February, 2005, 17:32 GMT
Wales@Westminster weblog

It's Wales@Westminster weblog, BBC Wales' Parliamentary correspondent David Cornock's diary on political life. It's a two-way process though, so add your comments too.

Wednesday, 2 February

Horse sense?
posted by David | 1725 GMT |

There's more to Robert Kilroy-Silk than a tan and a new political party.

The former chat show host and Labour MP, leader of the newly-created Veritas, has joined the campaign to save the Welsh mountain pony.

The MEP has tabled a question to the European Commission about the effect of the "horse passport" scheme on Welsh ponies. He wants Welsh ponies exempted from any scheme.

Mr Kilroy-Silk fears that ponies face destruction because the Commission has refused to recognise that Wales has distinct upland ponies.

Dartmoor, the New Forest and Exmoor have apparently been exempted from the scheme, designed to protect consumers of horsemeat from animals which have been injected with drugs that could harm their health.

Here's part of the Commission's response, which can be found in full on the new Veritas party website.

"The Commission is fully aware of and acknowledges the efforts made by member states and private initiatives for the protection of autochtonous pony breeds as a cultural and generic heritage, and wishes to assure the honourable member that no zootechnical or veterinary legislation was adopted aiming at compromising the genetic diversity of equidae."

That's cleared that one up then - although personally I can't see how horse passports will work unless someone can find a way of squeezing the ponies into those self-operated photo booths.


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