A century in the making: Government announcement

Today's announcement of the ban on live animal exports marks significant milestone.

Posted on 05/12/2023

A century in the making: Government announcement

A new Bill was introduced into Parliament today (05/12/2023) which ends the export of livestock for slaughter and fattening, marking a significant milestone in our almost 100-year history. The Animal Welfare (Livestock Exports) Bill will ban live animal exports of horses and others, including cattle, sheep, and pigs, for slaughter and fattening from Great Britain.

“We are delighted that the government has introduced this Bill and will put its muscle behind making it law. We know horses are being exported for slaughter ‘under the radar’ despite none being officially declared for this purpose.

“This Bill will finally make it illegal, something we have been campaigning for since our charity’s foundation. We look forward to working with Defra to ensure that the right measures are put in place to enforce this hugely significant piece of legislation.”

Chief Executive, Roly Owers

We thank everyone who has taken part in their campaigns to urge the UK Government to act on this issue and we are now calling on animal lovers to email their local MP and ask them to ensure smooth passage of this Bill through the House of Commons (PLEASE NOTE this campaign is now closed).

The Animal Welfare (Livestock Exports) Bill legislation follows a 2020 consultation, in which World Horse Welfare took part, on ending live animal exports in which 87% of respondents agreed that livestock, which includes horses, should not be exported for slaughter and fattening.

Live exports in other specific circumstances, for example, for breeding and competitions, will still be allowed provided animals are transported in line with legal requirements aimed at protecting their welfare. 

In the EU, we will continue to campaign to stop the long-distance transport of horses to slaughter.

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