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Actress Evanna Lynch calls on UK Government to Ban Live Exports

News Section Icon Published 14/06/2023

Harry Potter actress Evanna Lynch is today (14th June) appealing to the UK Government to reconsider its recent decision to drop legislation, that would have banned the cruel and outdated live animal exports trade.

The call comes on the 8th annual Ban Live Exports: International Awareness Day in a new video released by animal welfare and environmental charity, Compassion in World Farming. It shows the cruelty inflicted by this cruel trade and reveals the 50-year history of the campaign to end it.

Last month, the UK Government abandoned legislation that would have banned live exports for slaughter or fattening from or through Great Britain. Ending this cruel trade was a Conservative Party manifesto commitment in 2019. And, in May 2021, Ministers introduced the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill to Parliament which, amongst other protections for animals, included a live export ban.

The Bill had broad, cross-party support, and initially made good progress. But 18 months of dither and delay followed, and the Government then withdrew the legislation last month.

Actress and Compassion in World Farming Patron, Evanna Lynch, said:

“We must end this horrific trade once and for all. Full stop. The UK Government has promised to ban live exports, but in a betrayal of trust, they’ve dropped their own Bill that was set to do just that. It’s been a long fight, but we can’t give up now. Together, we can Ban Live Exports.

Ban Live Exports: International Awareness Day was started by the charity in 2016. Held on 14th June every year it brings thousands of people together around the world to protest against the cruel and unnecessary trade in live animal exports.

To mark the Day in the UK Compassion has launched a new UK petition to the Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, calling on him to show true leadership for animals. Campaigners from around the world are also uniting together, by sending digital postcards to the 14 EU agriculture ministers showing harrowing images of live exports and urging them to support stronger EU transport laws and a ban on the cruel export of live animals.

Internationally, New Zealand has already introduced a ban on live exports by sea, which came into effect in April 2023, and the Australian Government recently committed to phasing out live sheep exports. Brazil’s federal court also ruled in April that no live animals should be exported from the country’s ports, recognising that animals are sentient beings and that their welfare during long sea journeys is very poor.

James West, Senior Policy Manager at Compassion in World Farming, added:

“It’s appalling that after decades of campaigning on this issue, and despite Government commitments, we are still trying to get legislation to ban live exports over the line. This archaic trade is cruel, it’s unpopular with the public, and a ban has cross-party support in Parliament. Meanwhile we watch both Brazil and New Zealand leading the way with the steps they have taken, whilst in Britain, a country of animal lovers, we’re still waiting.

“Dropping this Bill is a huge betrayal of farm animals and of everyone who’s fought so hard to end this horrific trade. We urge the Government to finally and quickly pass legislation that consigns the terrible practice in exporting live animals for slaughter or fattening to the history books.”


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