England and Wales to ban the transport of live animals

Sheep being loaded onto trucks, photo by Jo-Anne McArthur on Unsplash
Sheep being loaded onto trucks, photo by Jo-Anne McArthur on Unsplash

The UK and Welsh governments want to ban the export of live cows, sheep and horses from England and Wales. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) labeled the news as a landmark moment for animal welfare.

On Thursday, the governments announced a consultation into finally ending the suffering of farm animals shipped on grueling journeys from the UK.

“There are growing concerns that the current requirements for the transport of animals do not reflect the latest scientific evidence on how best to protect animal welfare during transport,” the Department for Environmont, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said on their website.

“Now that the UK has left the EU, the Government can explore alternative options to better protect animal welfare during transport,” Defra said.

Under the proposal, the export of live animals for slaughter and fattening from England or Wales would be banned. Animal welfare organizations have long advocated sending meat abroad instead of living animals.

The journey is often hell for cows, horses, pigs and other animals; they’re dealing with mental exhaustion, death, physical injury, hunger, dehydration and stress.

The RSPCA says there is “no reasonable justification” to subject animals to the stressful experience of a journey abroad for fattening or slaughter.

“Animals are continuously made to take long, crowded journeys in conditions which are either far too hot or far too cold, all while access to food and water is not just a challenge but sometimes impossible. These journeys have to stop,” RSPCA public affairs manager David Bowles said.

“Stopping live animal exports has always had strong public support. We saw huge public demonstrations at ports all over the UK in the early 1990s when tens of thousands of people came onto the streets, Bowles added.

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