History in the Making: Britain to Ban Live Export

Posted by on May 15, 2024 | Permalink

After years of relentless campaigning by dedicated activists, policymakers, and animal protection groups, Great Britain is finally set to ban the live export of animals. The Animal Welfare (Livestock Exports) Bill successfully passed its final stage in the legislative process, with its third reading in the House of Lords. It will now receive royal assent before it becomes law. This historic move will spare many thousands of animals suffering and death on ships and lorries and many others a slow, terrifying death in foreign abattoirs.

Thanks to everyone who fought for this ban, including groups such as Compassion in World Farming and Kent Action Against Live Exports and the over 100,000 PETA supporters who sent messages to the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs.

Why a Ban on Live Export Is Needed

Over the years, hundreds of thousands of animals have been crammed into lorries or ships for journeys from the UK to the European Union and beyond that would last days or even weeks. They were sent abroad for fattening and slaughter and lost any legal protections afforded to them in the UK when they left the country. At their destinations, they typically endured horrendous conditions that would be illegal in the UK and faced a more violent death than they would experience here.

Animals were subjected to routine suffering when transported, enduring excessively long journeys and severe crowding, and some were left waiting in lorries at ports for hours on end. The journeys often resulted in fires and other disasters, or ships would sink, causing the horrifying deaths of large numbers of animals. In June 2022, more than 15,000 sheep drowned when a live-export ship capsized in the Red Sea.

What’s Next?

Once the Animal Welfare (Livestock Exports) Bill receives royal assent, it will be on track to become law. But the law will apply only to England, Scotland, and Wales – meaning there is much work to be done. Thousands of animals, including tiny calves, are still shipped from Ireland to Europe and beyond every year. These atrocities must also end.

Urge Ireland to Ban Live Export

Jo-Anne McArthur / Eyes On Animals

You can help spare additional animals a miserable life and a terrifying death by not eating them or wearing their skin.

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