Update (11 May 2022):
The Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill, which includes a ban on the dangerous and distressing export of live animals, has been carried over into the current session of Parliament. This means that it can continue its progression to becoming law without beginning the process again. While this is positive news, we must keep the pressure on the government to ensure that the bill becomes law – without delay. While the world faces unprecedented challenges, promises to implement vital animal welfare legislation must still 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.
Please take action now by telling the government to prioritise parliamentary time for the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill.
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 are commonly subjected to excessively long journeys and severe crowding and may be left waiting in lorries at ports for hours on end. In addition to the routine suffering endured by animals when they are transported live over long distances, the journeys can result in fires, and ships may sink, causing the horrifying deaths of large numbers of animals. In June 2022, more than 15,000 sheep drowned when a live-export ship capsized in Red Sea.
Transporting live animals thousands of miles in cramped, filthy conditions is also a major cause of the spread of zoonotic diseases around the world – from foot-and-mouth disease and avian influenza to SARS.
The live-export trade is dangerous and cruel, and it must be stopped.