We warn of increase in live animals destined for slaughter

Sheep in trailer © RSPCA Photolibrary


We’ve reiterated our calls for greater checks on live animals bound for France, as exports increase in the lead up to the annual Eid festival.

Yesterday seven lorry loads of live animals went through the port of Dover  and were loaded onto the boat, the Joline, which is carrying sheep that we believe will be slaughtered without pre-stunning for use in the religious festival of Eid.

The trade in live farm animals involves animals, including sheep and calves, being exported for hours or even days, only to be slaughtered at their destination on the continent. We’re calling for an alternative trade in meat rather than live animals. October is usually the busiest month as British sheep are destined for slaughter in France.

Our concerns

The live export trade resumed from the Port of Dover in May, following two years of operating from Ramsgate. We have been calling for both Dover Harbour Board and Animal Health to allow our inspectors into the port, as they were in Ramsgate.

David Bowles, from the RSPCA said:

Sadly, with the Eid festival approaching we will see more regular shipments over the next few weeks as traditionally live animals are needed at the festival.


If the government doesn’t have the resources to ensure full monitoring at loading and again at the port, we are offering the support of RSPCA Inspectors. Apart from concerns at the way these animals will die we are also concerned at the very long journeys they will have taken.

In September, we revealed new government information showing despite seven non-compliance notices and one refused lorry in the last five months, monitoring by Animal Health officials at the port has fallen to less than 40 per cent of lorries carrying live farm animals. This shows the need to do further checks at the port.

Help end live export

Join us in campaigning for an end to long distance live transport from the UK.

Thank you.