UK Secretary of State for Environment, George Eustice, announced plans to ban the export of live animals for slaughter. The move marks the beginning of renewed efforts from the UK Government to raise standards on animal welfare even further, including taking steps to ban primates as pets and crack down on the illegal smuggling of dogs and puppies.
“We are committed to improving the welfare of animals at all stages of life. Today marks a major step forward in delivering on our manifesto commitment to end live exports for slaughter,” Eustice said in a statement. “Now that we have left the EU, we have an opportunity to end this unnecessary practice.”
Live animals commonly have to endure excessively long journeys during exports, causing distress and injury. Previously, EU rules prevented any changes to these journeys, but leaving the EU has enabled the UK Government to pursue these plans which would prevent unnecessary suffering of animals during transport, making it the first country in Europe to end this practice.
An eight-week consultation on the plan launched today in England and Wales to review ways on how to better protect animals during transport.
The government is also consulting on plans to further improve animal welfare in transport more generally, such as:
reduced maximum journey times
animals being given more space and headroom during transport
stricter rules on transporting animals in extreme temperatures
tighter rules for transporting live animals by sea