During live export, frightened animals are forced onto crowded lorries or ships and transported for days or even weeks to be slaughtered at foreign abattoirs or used as breeding machines on foreign farms.
When they reach these facilities, they’re often treated in ways that that would be illegal in their home country and all of them meet a terrifying, gruesome end.
In 2019, over 200,000 cows were forced to make the long, harrowing journey from Ireland to continental Europe, sometimes in temperatures of up to 41.5 degrees. Close to 8,000 more were sent on even longer, tortuous journeys to destinations with vastly different or non-existent animal welfare laws, including Kazakhstan, Libya, and Turkey. This figure increased by over 50% in 2020.
Now, the Irish government wants to send pigs halfway around the world to China – where there are no laws to protect animals on farms. The animals will be forced to produce litter after litter of piglets every year until their bodies are spent, at which point they’ll be sent to slaughter. On top of animal welfare concerns, flying animals thousands of miles contributes to the climate crisis that others are working hard to mitigate and risks disease spread that could cause the next pandemic.