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Ban on live animal exports for slaughter

A ban on the export of cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and horses for slaughter and fattening, as well as shortening domestic journey times and introducing stricter rules on temperature and headroom in lorries has been welcomed by animal welfare campaigners as well as the wider public.

A 12-week consultation, which attracted more than 11,000 repossess, closed in January and resulted in this week’s ruling.

More than 50 per cent of the respondents to the consultation were RSPCA supporters and the animal welfare charity said it was the culmination of 50 years of campaigning to stop long journeys which it says can cause animals to suffer fear, exhaustion, dehydration and heat stress.

RSPCA chief executive Chris Sherwood said: “We are absolutely thrilled that the live export of animals is finally coming to an end after campaigning on this issue for more than 50 years.

The ban was widely welcomed by agricultural leaders who said the consultation had also taken into account some concerns raised by livestock farmers.

Speaking to the Eastern Daily Press, Gary Ford, East Anglia regional director for the National Farmers’ Union, said: ‘Livestock farming, particularly pigs and poultry, is a vital part of agriculture in the region. The wrong outcome could have had a significant impact on their ability to produce quality local food.

‘We’re pleased the government has taken account of the evidence we presented and made some changes to its original proposals. This includes removing lower temperature restrictions on livestock transport for short journeys and excluding vehicle loading and unloading in journey time limits for poultry.’

There are exemptions to the ban, including the export of poultry for breeding and scientific research.

Picture credit: Photo by Jesse Schoffon Unsplash