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Live animal exports shipped abroad from the UK set to be banned

A long-awaited ban on the live export of animals is finally set to come into force in what has been hailed by campaigners as “one of the biggest days for animal welfare in modern history”.

The ban, which will prevent live exports from ports such as Dover and Ramsgate, passed its final stage in the House of Lords this afternoon and is now set to become law.

North Thanet MP Sir Roger Gale shared this photo on X this afternoon after the ban passed its final stage in the House of Lords. Picture: Sir Roger GaleNorth Thanet MP Sir Roger Gale shared this photo on X this afternoon after the ban passed its final stage in the House of Lords. Picture: Sir Roger Gale
North Thanet MP Sir Roger Gale shared this photo on X this afternoon after the ban passed its final stage in the House of Lords. Picture: Sir Roger Gale

Animal welfare charity the RSPCA and its supporters have played a significant part in bringing an end to the gruelling and unnecessary journeys of livestock exported abroad for further fattening and slaughter.

Lorries routinely faced protesters who gathered at both Dover and Ramsgate whenever exports were leaving.

According to the RSPCA, transported animals endured crowded and dangerous journeys, leading to mental exhaustion, injury, hunger, dehydration and stress.

The campaign group said UK Government data shows up to 40 million farm animals, including sheep, calves and pigs, have been exported from Britain for further rearing or slaughter since the 1960s – equating to thousands every single week, or dozens every hour.

At its height, one million animals were being exported annually, and campaigners have been calling for the ban for 50 years.

Government data shows up to 40 million farm animals, including sheep, calves and pigs, have been exported from Britain for further rearing or slaughter since the 1960s – equating to thousands every single week, or dozens every hour.

RSPCA Emma Slawinski, the RSPCA’s director for advocacy, witnessed up close the spectre of live animals being hauled onto trucks and exported from British shores overseas.

She said: “This vote marks one of the biggest days for animal welfare in modern history. Sadly, I’ve witnessed up close the reality of these exports and the impact they have on animals.”

“I’ll forever be haunted by the smell that comes off an export truck, and the calls of the animals inside which can still be heard as the ship leaves the port and sails into the distance.

“Every time I talk about the live exports of animals, that smell and those sounds come back to me.

“Fortunately, after so many years campaigning, the mental exhaustion, injury, hunger, dehydration and stress animals are at risk of on these cruel journeys will finally – once and for all – be consigned to the history books in this country.”



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