UK bans live animal exports for slaughter: a historic step for animal welfare

The UK has passed landmark law banning the export of live animals for slaughter, a turning point for animal welfare in this country

The United Kingdom has taken a historic step toward animal welfare by banning the export of live animals destined for slaughter. This is a significant victory for millions of animals that have suffered during long, grueling journeys to unknown destinations.

As Animal Equality notes, every year, one and a half billion animals endure endless hours, sometimes days, packed into inadequate transportation vehicles to be shipped in and out of Europe to slaughterhouses where they are killed—a cruelty within cruelty.

Now, at least in the UK, this will no longer be possible. A bill banning the export of live animals has passed its final stage in Parliament and will soon become law.

Decades of activism pay off

The ban is the result of decades of activism, with organizations like Compassion in World Farming and Kent Action Against Live Exports tirelessly fighting to end this cruelty. Among them is Animal Equality UK, always at the forefront of efforts to stop the hellish journeys that cows, pigs, sheep, and other farmed animals must endure.

Public pressure was also crucial, with an incredible 87% support emerging from a government consultation in 2020.

Philip Lymbery, CEO of Compassion in World Farming (CIWF), commented:

“Today is a great day of celebration, long-awaited. For decades, animals have endured these senseless and arduous exports to the continent, but no more! I am very proud of our supporters, whose dedication and persistence have helped achieve this hard-won victory.”

The impact of the pan

Before this important ban, up to 1.6 million animals were exported each year from the UK, facing hunger, dehydration, and injuries, sometimes even death, during transportation.

This ban is a strong signal to Europe and beyond. Elsewhere in the world, there are already some virtuous examples. Brazil has banned the export of live cows and calves, while in New Zealand, it is forbidden to export live cows, calves, sheep, deer, and goats by sea.

The world continues to move in the right direction regarding animals, but there is still a long way to go.

The road ahead

Regarding the new law in the UK, it is expected that the decision will face opposition from the livestock industry and some political factions. Therefore, we should not celebrate too early but must ensure that what has been promised is implemented.

Source: Animal Equality

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