A Brazilian court has banned the live animal exports from all the country’s ports, marking a significant victory for animal welfare advocates. The decision can be appealed, but for now, it represents a historic ruling in Brazil, a nation with a growing animal production industry.
Federal judge Djalma Gomes handed down the verdict on Tuesday, stating in the ruling that “animals are not things. They are sentient living beings, that is, individuals who feel hunger, thirst, pain, cold, anguish, fear.”
This decision follows a lawsuit filed in 2017 by the National Forum for the Protection and Defense of Animals, a Brazilian animal welfare organization, requesting a ban on all live cattle exports by sea. Animal rights advocates are celebrating the ruling as “historic” for its recognition of the suffering animals endure.
O Fórum Nacional de Proteção e Defesa obteve uma grande vitória para os animais na justiça.— Fórum Nacional de Proteção e Defesa Animal (@forumanimal) April 26, 2023
Uma sentença da Justiça Federal proibiu a EXPORTAÇÃO DE GADO VIVO em todos os portos do país! pic.twitter.com/zB3PItQniU
Brazil’s agriculture minister, Carlos Favaro, defended the country’s live cattle trade, stating that international buyers prefer to invest in Brazilian animals. He also claimed that the accommodations provided for animals during transport are adequate. He didn’t say if the government would appeal the decision.
In response to the Brazilian court’s decision, global animal welfare organization Four Paws has urged the European Commission also to propose a ban on all live animal exports.
Animals suffer tremendously during long transportation periods, whether by sea or land, and tragic incidents are all too common in the industry. By following Brazil’s example, the EU can maintain its leading position in animal welfare and set a higher standard for global practices, Four Paws said.