Every year, millions of farmed animals are at risk of facing long-distance export journeys, for fattening and slaughter.
Journeys can take up to 96 hours and the animals may only arrive to be slaughtered or possibly kept in conditions that could be illegal in the UK. Animals could cross thousands of miles, across Europe, and face exhaustion, hunger and extreme temperatures, which can cause suffering and even death en route from these conditions.
The suffering these animals could have to endure is unnecessary and needs to be stopped and prevented.
How is this still allowed?
As part of the Kept Animals Bill, the UK Government promised once before to put an end to live animal exports from Great Britain for fattening and slaughter. After 500 days in limbo, this was shelved in May 2023. This was a huge step backwards and the future of farm animals was uncertain.
The RSPCA has campaigned for more than 50 years on the issue – which has seen millions of signatures on petitions, thousands attending protest marches and weekly demonstrations from members of the public at UK ports. But despite the strength of public feeling, the UK Government delivered a huge blow to animal welfare.
Now there is hope – after the King’s Speech announced the Animal Welfare (Livestock Exports) Bill in November, we have the opportunity to end live exports once and for all.
We’re pleased that live exports have been put on the UK Government agenda and named in the King’s Speech, a significant step forward for animal welfare. We must continue to campaign and speak up for farm animals so that promises aren’t broken once again.
How you can help – you can enter your details at https://www.rspca.org.uk/getinvolved/campaign/stopliveexports to send our pre-written email to your local MP. Together, we can keep this on the UK Government’s agenda.