Search Comment Central
Pexels matthiaszomer 422218
© Pexels / Matthias Zomer

Live exports for slaughter and fattening to be banned in Great Britain

After years of campaigning against live exports, the Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation are thrilled that the Animal Welfare (Livestock Exports) Bill has completed its passage in Parliament to ban exports of live cattle, sheep, pigs, goats and horses for slaughter and fattening.  Whilst this represents an enormous triumph for farmed animals, there remains much to be done to advance the world-leading animal welfare standards that are expected in our country. 


This is a historic moment for animal welfare in Great Britain, which will be the first in Europe to completely introduce a ban of this kind.

 

The British public are appalled by live exports, and we are pleased that the government have listened to the experts, scientific evidence and the general public. 


Vulnerable animals are subjected to many welfare challenges before and during their journey, which can sometimes take days. Animals can suffer from heat stress, injury, disease, overcrowding, motion sickness, changes in feed, loud noises, and unsanitary environmental conditions. Once they reach their port of destination, the animals are outside the control of British laws and regulations, meaning we have no control over their treatment from that point onwards.

 

We are relieved no more animals will be subjected to these journeys. These farm animals will now remain in Great Britain, where they have greater protections under our animal welfare laws.

 

This measure has taken decades of campaigning. On 7th November, the UK made history when, in the King’s Speech, it was announced that the Government would introduce the Animal Welfare (Livestock Exports) Bill. 

 

When our Patron then Janet Fookes MP (now Conservative Peer Baroness Fookes) asked then Agriculture Minister Peggy Fenner MP in 1972 if Great Britain will ban the export of live animals for slaughter, nobody could have anticipated it would take more than 50 years for such a policy to make the statute books.

MPs, Peers, campaigners, charities, and NGOs have worked tirelessly in calling for the cruel live export trade to be outlawed. Animals like sheep and calves have historically been exported in huge numbers, as many as 2 million farm animals were exported each year at the height of the live export trade in the 1990s.

MPs, Peers, campaigners, charities, and NGOs have worked tirelessly in calling for the cruel live export trade to be outlawed. Quote

Following Britain’s exit from the EU, animals now need to be checked at a Border Inspection Post (BIP), The last live export shipment left Great Britain in December 2020. 


We should be under no illusion; the only reason why live exports are not currently taking place is due to insufficient border controls. Without legislation like the Animal Welfare (Livestock Exports) Bill, this cruel trade can and will resume with the implementation of new border posts. 


We know that animal welfare is an important priority for voters – perhaps demonstrated most clearly by the overwhelming support for the 2019 Conservative Manifesto which placed animals and the environment at the forefront of the policy agenda. It prompted almost 14 million people to vote Conservative, the most significant electoral win for any Party in decades. Hardly surprising, considering time and again the British public show their support for higher animal welfare standards. For example, an overwhelming 98% of people have stated that protecting the welfare of farmed animals is important to them. 


Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation applaud this historic measure which sends a powerful message across the world. We hope it will not be the first ban in Europe for long and that other countries will follow Great Britain’s lead and introduce their own bans on live exports.

However, we must build on this historic victory; we need to see improvements in the transport of animals around the UK especially in the case of chickens where around one million birds alone die in transport between farm and slaughter because of poorly ventilated lorries. 

We must also continue to support smaller higher welfare farmers by introducing an animal welfare/method of production labelling system which will give consumers informed choice and we must end the cruel use of pig farrowing crates which restrict the sow’s movement so severely that she can't even turn around or walk a few steps in the crate. 


Similarly, it is time to bring forward the consultation on ending cages for egg laying hens as the birds have little room to move and are deprived of natural exercise of foraging and flapping their wings. Finally, we must bring in stronger legal protections for farmed fish at the time of slaughter.


There is still much to do, but the historic passing of the Animal Welfare (Live Exports) Bill is a great step forward that we are delighted to celebrate.

TELEMMGLPICT000254838167 trans Nv B Qz Q Njv4 Bq5y QL Qqe H37t50 S Cy M4 ze Gcv5y Z Lmao6 Lolm WY Jr Xns 1

Lorraine Platt is the co-founder of the Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation

Border
Most Popular
Shutterstock 2374504499
Events since Thursday, June 6th...
Stevens
Professor Dan Stevens
June 13, 2024
Shutterstock 2206567965
Protecting vulnerable consumers from energy...
Screenshot 2024 06 12 at 11 08 32
Simon Francis
June 12, 2024
What to read next
Shutterstock 1104468857
How well do we truly understand the origins of the food...
TELEMMGLPICT000254838167 trans Nv B Qz Q Njv4 Bq5y QL Qqe H37t50 S Cy M4 ze Gcv5y Z Lmao6 Lolm WY Jr Xns 1
Lorraine Platt
February 6, 2024
Image: ChameleonsEye / Shutterstock
Once animals leave our shores, we have no control over how...
TELEMMGLPICT000254838167 trans Nv B Qz Q Njv4 Bq5y QL Qqe H37t50 S Cy M4 ze Gcv5y Z Lmao6 Lolm WY Jr Xns 1
Lorraine Platt
December 14, 2023
Shutterstock 1207973161
The British public care deeply about animal welfare. This was the...
TELEMMGLPICT000254838167 trans Nv B Qz Q Njv4 Bq5y QL Qqe H37t50 S Cy M4 ze Gcv5y Z Lmao6 Lolm WY Jr Xns 1
Lorraine Platt
November 22, 2023