Update: 14 March 2022
Recent reports in the media alarmingly suggest that the government will de-prioritise animal welfare, claiming it is seen as “peripheral stuff” . This means that the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) and Animals Abroad bills are at risk of being dropped. If that happened, we’d lose proposed laws banning the dangerous and distressing export of live animals. While the world faces unprecedented challenges, promises to implement vital animal welfare legislation must be upheld and the government must fulfil its commitment to having and promoting the highest standards of animal welfare, as laid out in the 2021 Queen’s Speech.
If the reports are true and these bills are torn up, the government would be betraying the cows, pigs, and other animals it promised to protect as well as the public who elected it based on manifesto commitments such as banning hunting trophies and live export.
Giving the green light to organisations and individuals to continue to profit from cruelty to animals would make a mockery of the UK’s claim that we are a nation of animal lovers. The government must keep in mind a sentiment put forth by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, “The way we treat animals reflects our values and the kind of people we are.”
Please take action now by telling the government to support the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) and Animals Abroad bills in their entirety, banning the live export of animals.
Live animals, including babies and pregnant animals, are transported hundreds or even thousands of miles in dangerous conditions in all weather extremes, causing distress, injuries, and disease. They can be in transit for days, often without sufficient food, water, or rest. Many die as a result.
Animals commonly have to endure excessively long journeys and severe crowding and may be left waiting in lorries at ports for hours and hours. In addition to routine suffering, long-distance live transport can also result in fires, and ships may sink, causing the suffering and deaths of large numbers of animals. Most recently, in November 2019, over 14,000 sheep drowned when a ship capsized shortly after leaving port.
Transporting live animals thousands of miles in cramped, filthy conditions is also a major cause of the spread of zoonotic diseases around the globe – from foot-and-mouth disease and avian influenza to SARS.
The live-export trade is dangerous and cruel, and it must be stopped.