Photos: ‘Cows’ on the Tube? Herd of Animal Allies Demand That Rishi End Live Exports

London – Today, to mark this year’s Ban Live Exports: International Awareness Day (14 June), PETA supporters in sheep and cow masks brandishing signs proclaiming, “For Us, the Commute is a Real Killer,” were herded into a hot, cramped Tube carriage bound for Westminster. The ruckus drew attention to the crowded, filthy, and dangerous conditions that sheep, cows, goats, pigs, and other animals in the live-export trade endure, only to meet a violent death when they arrive at their destination – assuming they don’t perish en route.

More images and videos are available here.

The government committed to a live-export ban in its 2019 manifesto and its 2021 Action Plan for Animal Welfare. However, last month, it scrapped the widely supported Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill – which included a ban on live exports, cracked down on puppy smuggling, and prevented primates from being kept as “pets” – in what many consider to be a major betrayal of the voting public. The government has stated that the measures in the bill, including the live-export ban, will be delivered by other means, but it is yet to take any action.

“Animals raised for their flesh already suffer tremendously, and the least we can do is spare them the unnecessary trauma of an arduous journey overseas before they’re killed,” says PETA Senior Campaigns Manager Kate Werner. “PETA is calling on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to keep his party’s promise to end this stain on our society without further excuses or delay.”

Before Brexit, hundreds of thousands of live animals, including babies and pregnant females, were being exported from the UK every year for slaughter or “fattening” overseas. They were often in transit for days or weeks without sufficient food, water, or rest, and many died as a result. When animals leave the UK, they also leave behind the marginally better legal protections afforded to them, and many endure excruciating deaths in horrendous conditions that would be illegal here. Transporting live animals thousands of miles is also a major cause of the spread of zoonotic diseases around the world – from foot-and-mouth disease and avian influenza to SARS. PETA urges the government to enact the live-export ban before Brexit restrictions are eased and live export resumes from the UK.

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat or abuse in any other way” – opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit or follow the group on FacebookTwitterTikTok, or Instagram.


Sascha Camilli +44 (0) 20 7923 6244; [email protected]