Breaking: Britain’s historic ban on live exports

Posted on the 14th May 2024

We’re delighted to share the news that the Animal Welfare (Livestock Exports) Bill has passed its final stage in Parliament, delivering on the government’s longstanding commitment to ending the export of animals for slaughter and fattening overseas.

For decades, millions of animals have endured gruelling, long-distance journeys, in overcrowded, filthy conditions. They can be in transit for days or even weeks, suffering extreme temperatures and poor access to food and water. Many animals will end up in conditions that are illegal in the UK, such as veal crates where very young calves are kept in complete isolation and unable to even turn around.   

That’s why the significance of this new legislation cannot be overstated: finally, after more than 50 years of relentless campaigning, live animal exports will be condemned to the history books where they belong. 

Iain Green, Director of Animal Aid, said: We’ve seen a series of broken promises from the Government on the issue of animal protection, so we’re delighted by the news of a ban on live animal exports following widespread public support. We’re hopeful that this Bill will be enshrined into law quickly, ahead of the General Election, in order to prevent the suffering of millions of animals.”

On this momentous day, we remember the dedication of animal rights activist, Jill Phipps, who died whilst protesting against the export of live veal calves from Coventry in 1995. This victory undoubtedly belongs to Jill and to the countless activists, campaigners, and supporters who never gave up.  

The Bill will make the UK the first European country to ban live animal exports, following in the footsteps of New Zealand*, Australia, and Brazil which have all made commitments to ending or phasing out the trade. The EU is currently the largest exporter of live animals but there are hopes that a UK ban will influence attitudes ahead of upcoming EU elections. 

*CORRECTION: In a world-first, New Zealand banned the export of animals by sea. Unfortunately, the country’s new Government has pledged to overturn the ban. Efforts are underway to protect the legislation and the animals it will save.

Read more posts...

Live Exports Ban: Does it go far enough?

Yesterday, we shared the news that the Animal Welfare (Livestock Exports) Bill has passed its final stage in Parliament and will soon be enshrined into law. But does it go far enough?

Posted 15 May 2024

The role of dairy farming as a driver of the badger cull

In March, the government announced plans to overturn its promise to phase out the badger cull. Instead, they plan to reduce the badger population even further, continuing to scapegoat this majestic species whilst ignoring the...

Posted 02 May 2024