Government promises to ban live export of farm animals
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has released a report and announced a consultation, stating that it plans to ban the exporting of live animals for slaughter or further fattening.
The RSPCA has welcomed the Government consultation after campaigning on the issue for many years. But the National Farmers Union has warned that big changes could have a massive impact on the UK’s food supply chain.
Only a few thousand out of the millions of animals bred for meat in the UK end up being shipped to Europe for slaughter. But the Government has affirmed that now that the UK has left the EU and will stop following its rules after the post-Brexit transition period, a ban can legally be introduced.
The Conservative Party made the pledge to ban live animal exports in its last election manifesto.
“Banning live exports for slaughter and further fattening would be a landmark achievement for animal welfare.”
Commenting on the news, RSPCA chief executive, Chris Sherwood, said: “We welcome and share the Government’s goal to ban live exports. There is absolutely no reasonable justification to subject an animal to an unnecessarily stressful journey abroad simply for them to be fattened for slaughter.”
The issue mainly focuses on the journey from the Port of Ramsgate in Kent to Europe, where animals are transported to be slaughtered or fattened for later slaughter.
Government is now launching an eight-week consultation on the plan which will also include a series of measures put in place to cut the amount of time animals spend in trucks within the UK. This consultation period is set to be followed by a series of reforms rolled out in Parliament next year.
Sherwood continued: “Banning live exports for slaughter and further fattening would be a landmark achievement for animal welfare. We’re also encouraged to see that the Government will also consult on reduced maximum journey times for all transported animals as well as tighter rules in extreme heat or cold.”