Food and Beverage Business

UK Bans Live Animal Exports

UK Bans Live Animal Exports animal exports, Brexit, Law, Legal, meat, poultry & seafood, regulation, trade, UK Food and Beverage Business

The implementation of a new UK law has put an end to the exportation of live animals for fattening and slaughter from the UK. This law, which covers cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, and horses, came into effect on May 20, 2024, following a successful consultation process.

According to Environment Secretary Steve Barclay, the government is “proud to have some of the highest animal welfare standards in the world,” and the new legislation further strengthens these standards. Barclay emphasized that the law utilizes post-Brexit freedoms to fulfill a manifesto commitment and prevent the unnecessary stress and injury caused to animals during live exports.

The RSPCA’s chief executive, Chris Sherwood, expressed his excitement over the legislation, calling it a significant victory after more than 50 years of campaigning. Sherwood highlighted that British animals will no longer undergo grueling journeys abroad for further fattening and slaughter, emphasizing the improved welfare conditions for the animals.

Under the new rule, animals should only be transported when necessary, and long distances to slaughter should be avoided if possible. However, live exports for breeding and competitions will still be permitted as long as the animals are transported in compliance with welfare regulations.

This legislation is part of the government’s broader strategy to enhance animal welfare standards in the UK, with the country already holding the highest ranking among G7 nations, as per the World Animal Protection’s Index. Recent initiatives include recognizing animal sentience, imposing stricter penalties for animal cruelty, expanding the ivory ban, and supporting legislation to ban detrimental practices.

In addition to these measures, the UK has introduced new welfare codes for farm animals, prohibiting conventional battery cages for laying hens and mandating CCTV in slaughterhouses. These steps align with the government’s commitment to improving animal welfare across the board.


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