Yesterday (29th October), the streets between DEFRA and Parliament were truly haunted when Compassion in World Farming, 38 Degrees, Avaaz and SumOfUs joined forces, to deliver over one million petition signatures to DEFRA, urging the Minister for the Environment, Michael Gove, to #StopLiveTransport.
Last May, the government pledged to take action on live exports but nothing has happened. This Halloween, a spooky parade of ‘zombie sheep and calves’ marched to DEFRA’s offices in London to hand in the signatures. These ‘zombie animals’ represent those who have died during transport, coming back from the dead to haunt DEFRA, to remind them of their promise to end live exports.
In 2017, tens of thousands of sheep and young calves were exported from the UK to continental Europe on long journeys that result in immense suffering. Many of these animals are kept in over-crowded conditions without enough food, water, or space to move, and often face an inhumane slaughter at their final destination.
“The true horror of live transport is absolutely shocking,” explained Downton Abbey actor and animal welfare activist Peter Egan, who attended the hand-in. “It’s appalling that we allow such cruelty to continue.”
Nick Palmer, Head of Compassion in World Farming UK, said: “This delivery of over one million signatures, highlights growing public pressure to end this barbaric practice. The live transport of animals on long, exhausting journeys, in horrendous conditions is not acceptable.
"It’s time for the UK government to enforce a UK-wide ban on live exports for slaughter and further fattening.”
"Farm animals should be treated with respect and dignity, not as machines to swell the coffers of large companies. As such they should be humanely slaughtered as close to the farm as possible, not sent on long traumatic journeys prolonging the agony of death. Our petition of over one million names shows how the public is behind a meat only trade,” said Sondhya Gupta, Senior Campaigner at SumOfUs.