Campaigners have welcomed UK government plans to ban the export of live animals for slaughter and fattening. It would make England the first country in Europe to end this practice.
Compassion in World Farming’s Chief Policy Advisor, Peter Stevenson, urged farmers to welcome to move toward a “high welfare” future.
He said, “We have campaigned for over 50 years against the massive suffering caused by this inhumane, archaic trade, so this unambiguous proposal is very welcome.
“We urge farmers not to oppose the proposed ban but rather to recognise that this is an important part of moving forward to a high welfare future.”
It’s estimated 6,400 animals were transported from the UK to slaughter in continental Europe in 2018.
Royal Society for the Protection of Animals (RSPCA) CEO Chris Sherwood said, “There is no reasonable justification to subject an animal to an unnecessarily stressful journey abroad simply for them to be fattened for slaughter.
“Ending live exports for slaughter and further fattening would be a landmark achievement for animal welfare.”
The plan was announced by The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), forming part of an eight-week consultation on how to better protect animal welfare during transport.
Live animals commonly experience long journeys during exports, causing distress and injury.
Proposals also include:
- Reduced maximum journey times
- Animals being given more space and headroom during transport
- Stricter rules on transporting animals in extreme temperatures
- Tighter rules for transporting live animals by sea
Further steps include banning primates as pets and cracking down on the illegal smuggling of dogs and puppies.