Britain bans the export of live farm animals

Britain bans the export of live farm animals

AndThe Farm Animal Welfare Bill should end the export of thousands of cattle, pigs, goats, sheep, wild boar and horses for slaughter or fattening to or via England, Wales and Scotland.

The text has already been approved by elected representatives in the House of Commons (the lower house of Parliament), and on Tuesday the text was approved by the House of Lords (the upper house). It will be enshrined in law once it receives the “royal seal,” a formality.

Emma Slawinski, president of the British animal welfare organization the RSPCA, which has campaigned for the ban for nearly 50 years, described the decision as an “extraordinary achievement”.

“In the 1990s, more than a million animals were exported from the UK (every year). It is an abhorrent trade. The suffering of the animals is severe and long-term, with journeys costing days, not hours. Fortunately, this will no longer happen,” he stressed.

The proposal was first drafted in 2017 by the British Conservatives and was presented as a “bend for Brexit,” the EU trade rules that prevent member states from banning live animal exports to other countries in the bloc.

“This is a great day. For decades, farm animals have supported these foolish exports to the continent – but no longer,” said Philip Lymbery, director general of CIWF (Compassion in World Farming).

During Tuesday's vote, several senators lamented that the law does not apply in Northern Ireland, which, under post-Brexit rules, sees some EU regulations still in place, especially in trade matters.

NGOs concerned with the protection of farm animals have called on the European Union to ban the export of live animals to third countries, but the European Commission recently ruled out this option.

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In its proposal to review the regulations at the end of 2023, which is still under negotiation, it favored imposing stricter requirements on the condition of boats and the good treatment of animals on board.

Elsewhere in the world, Australia has committed to ending the export of live sheep by 2028.

New Zealand has also banned the export of live livestock by sea since April 2023.

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