Seven out of ten British people want farm animals to be slaughtered in their country of origin. 

Lamb standing up (c) iStock

New research shows that 66 per cent of the British public are ‘appalled’ that live farm animals are transported long distances to the continent for slaughter. Around seven out of ten (69 per cent) people believe animals should be slaughtered in the country where they have been reared. Then their meat transported to the country where it will be sold.

Today, we, Compassion in World Farming and Kent Action Against Live Exports will march through London to Westminster. We will be calling for immediate action to end the cruel and unnecessary trade in live farm animals.

Long journeys cause unnecessary suffering

Eloise Shavelar, our farm animal campaign manager, said:

“Despite over 20 years of tireless campaigning against this trade, tens of thousands of farm animals are still being exported to the continent for further fattening and slaughter each year.


“These long journeys have been shown to cause unnecessary suffering to animals such as calves and sheep. It’s time this cruel trade ended once and for all and Britain moved to an alternative trade in meat.”

Research shows that 69 per cent of British people think farm animals shouldn’t be travelling over eight hours, yet journeys can take far longer. One recorded journey of sheep travelling between the south of England and Stuttgart took over 23 hours.

Pru Elliot, Compassion in World Farming campaign officer, added

“Animals are confined in crowded lorries and their exhausting journeys can be hundreds, even thousands of miles – as far as Eastern Europe. That is why we are calling on the government to stand up for sheep and end this unnecessary trade.”

Regulations aren’t being enforced

Unfortunately, due to EU trade rules, the government is unable to ban live exports directly. Defra has maintained that it would prefer to see a trade in meat. Yet Ministers have taken no steps to work with the industry toward this. There are also concerns that regulations in place to protect animals during transport aren’t being enforced.

Campaigners will meet with Neil Parish MP, chairman of the Associate Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare to present him with a giant postcard to take to Defra. Together we are calling on George Eustice MP, Minister responsible for animal welfare to:

  • work with the industry to move to an alternative trade in meat;
  • implement 100 per cent checks at the port;
  • amend the 1847 Ports Act so ports can choose to reject the trade.

Find out more about live transport and support our campaign to end this cruel and unnecessary trade.

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