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Ban Live Exports promise must not go to the grave

News Section Icon Published 12/07/2023

Today (12th July), leading farm animal welfare charity Compassion in World Farming staged a photo stunt in Parliament Square, Westminster, to mourn the loss of the Kept Animals Bill, which was dropped by the UK Government in May. The stunt highlighted that although the Bill – which would have banned the cruel and archaic live export trade – has languished and gone to the grave, promises made to introduce legislation to address this issue must be upheld.

The protest marked a one-minute silence to call to mind the gruelling journeys that farm animals endure when they are exported overseas from Britain for slaughter and fattening.

The event was themed around a cemetery with mourners standing in funeral dress amongst tombstones to emphasise calls on the UK Government not to bury their promise to Ban Live Exports. Instead, the UK Government must honour its 2019 manifesto pledge and Ban Live Exports for slaughter and fattening from Great Britain by introducing and passing legislation immediately.

“It was such a bleak day when the Government revealed in May that they were dropping the Kept Animals Bill,” recounts Nick Palmer, Head of Compassion in World Farming’s UK Office. “Live exports cause overcrowding, stress, exhaustion, dehydration, hunger and even death. We have campaigned relentlessly for over 50 years to make this abhorrent outdated practice illegal. In the past six months, we have seen other countries ban or phase out the trade, and yet the UK Government has failed to make progress despite manifesto pledges.”

“Quite simply, the Government is not only letting farmed animals down, but compassionate citizens and voters too. But we are not giving up and need to ensure these promises are revitalised and fulfilled. We are determined that the promise to Ban Live Exports from Great Britain’s shores will not go to the grave.”

Compassion is calling on the Prime Minister to show true leadership for animals and deliver a ban on cruel live exports from Britain. To support the campaign and sign the petition, please visit:

For more information or to arrange interview please email or call 01483 521 615.


Notes to Editors:

  1. In May 2023, the Government dropped the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill, which would have banned live exports for slaughter or fattening from Great Britain, despite the Bill having received cross-party support during previous Commons stages.
  2. Other countries have taken positive steps recently to address the welfare of animals subjected to live exports. New Zealand banned this trade earlier this year, Australia has committed to phasing out exports and in April, a Brazilian court banned the export of live cattle from all the country's ports.

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