AN MP has won a boost for her campaign to protect the welfare of horses earmarked for export to the Continent.

New rules planned by the European Union sparked fears in Britain that welfare safeguards would be watered down.

But Colne Valley Labour MP Kali Mountford, who took up the issue with minister for Nature Conservation and Fisheries Ben Bradshaw, is optimistic after getting his reply.

She said: "I've been assured that there is no cause for alarm.

"I'm glad that the Government is working not only to maintain welfare standards but to improve them."

Ms Mountford said continued vigilance was needed to prevent abuse of the rules.

"It is appalling to think there are still a minority of traders willing to flout rules designed to protect horses from ill-treatment," she said.