On 14 June, supporters of leading farm animal welfare charity, Compassion in World Farming took action to #StopLiveTransport.
Over 150 demonstrations in 35 countries took place to raise awareness of the long distance live transport of farm animals. Events were held across the world to demonstrate global opposition to this horrific trade, including a flagship rally at Parliament Square, London.
The London event was attended by over 500 people, all determined to keep the topic of live animal exports at the forefront of the political agenda. Speakers at the rally included Downton Abbey actor and animal welfare activist Peter Egan and Members of Parliament, Zac Goldsmith, Theresa Villiers, Sir David Amess, Kerry McCarthy and Sir Roger Gale. All speaking in favour of a ban and the urgent need to end this cruel trade. Zac Goldsmith MP said: “I've never felt more optimistic than I do today…we will stop this trade."
Other highlights included a truck tour through Italy, a protest in Dam Square, Amsterdam, a huge banner hung on the side of a prominent building in Prague, photos taken in front of famous landmarks in France, 13 protests across Poland and many more.
Millions of live animals are transported over thousands of kilometres every year on long journeys that result in immense suffering. Many of these sheep and calves are kept in over-crowded conditions without enough food, water, or space to move, and often face an inhumane slaughter at their final destination.
Many famous faces lent their support to the day, including Absolutely Fabulous actress and campaigner Joanna Lumley, who is calling on the public to get involved:
“Millions of vulnerable animals are transported on excessively long journeys every year. They are crammed into overcrowded vehicles and often not provided with sufficient food, water or rest. Their experience is unimaginable.
"I have supported calls to Stop Live Transport for decades but this cruel trade still continues. On 14 June, please join me in supporting Stop Live Transport: International Awareness Day and help be the voice of the voiceless.”
Actress and animal advocate Evanna Lynch - who rose to prominence in her role as Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter films - joined to support on the day. Evanna, a Patron of Compassion in World Farming said “The horror of live transport never fails to shock me to my core. Where is our compassion? It’s time to stop live transport”
14 June was chosen for this year’s Stop Live Transport: International Awareness Day, as it marks the anniversary of one of the worst live transport disasters of recent times. 13,000 sheep set sail on board the Trust1 ship from Romania, on 21 May 2015, where they spent a gruelling 24 days at sea with insufficient provisions and inadequate care. By the time the Trust1 finally docked in Somalia on 14 June 2015 all the sheep were dead – having suffered from extreme dehydration, starvation and exhaustion.
During the London rally a 20ft mock-up of the Trust1 drew attention from passers-by, as a symbolic ‘die in’ stunt was performed. Campaigners dressed as sheep, simultaneously dropped to the ground to mark the anniversary and pay homage to the thousands of animals who died on the horrific export voyage, three years ago to the day.
“The horrors of the Trust1 highlights the terrible suffering animals face when transported over long distances”, says Sean Gifford, Head of Public Campaigns at Compassion in World Farming.
“Sadly, there are hundreds of other disasters just like this that haven’t made headline news but where animals suffer, and no one is held accountable. It is simply inhumane for animals to be transported on such long journeys where fear, pain and death at the end of such journeys, are inevitable.”
To find out more visit https://stoplivetransport.org/