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One cow, seven cities: Cow on Tour

News Section Icon Published 09/10/2015

Today (Friday 9th October), Compassion launched #CowOnTour with a protest outside the European Commission Offices in London.

Live export protest Evanna Lynch.jpg

Harry Potter star and Compassion ambassador, Evanna Lynch, who attended today’s event said: “I feel incredibly strongly about this; I think there are so many people throughout Europe, who – if they knew that this was going on, if they saw it – they just wouldn’t condone it.

Most of the general public don’t realise the cruelty that’s occurring all over the world. The live export industry needs exposure like this. I hope that the #CowOnTour makes people think as this protest is vital to raise awareness of this cruel trade and influence decision makers.”


Taking centre stage at the event was our 3D petition sculpture, used to increase understanding of the live export trade, whilst collecting signatures of support against the industry.

Jean Lambert, Green Party MEP for London, spoke up against live exports, at today’s demonstration.

Live export protest Jean lambert.jpg

The sculpture - inspired by the cattle that Compassion witnessed suffering, during investigations into the EU’s live animal export trade - started the tour as a blank canvas, and will build up signatures all over her body as she travels from country to country.

European tour

After the launch in London this weekend, the life-sized cow sculpture will visit the following cities during October, to raise awareness of the plight of farm animals facing live export from the EU:

  • Paris,12th October
  • The Hague, 13th October
  • Berlin, 14th October
  • Warsaw, 15th October
  • Prague, 19th October
  • Rome, 21st October

At the end of the tour, the cow will be delivered to the European Commission with a simple message: stop live exports.

A cruel and unnecessary trade

Pru Elliott, our Campaigns Officer spoke at today’s event, saying: “The journeys animals face when they are exported out of the EU, are horrendous. But things get worse and worse and the slaughter they face is often cruel.

Live export protest pru.jpg

“That’s why we need the voices of people across Europe, calling for an end to this trade – to apply pressure where it’s needed – directly at the Commission and the Commissioners themselves.

“That’s what you are part of today – and you are joined by tens of thousands of people from across the UK and beyond – who have signed this petition already, but couldn’t be here.”

Every year around 3 million animals are exported live out of the EU for slaughter, fattening or breeding. We are calling for a ban on this cruel and unnecessary trade. Defenceless animals face horrendously long journeys which cause them terrible suffering. In many importing countries, the animals are slaughtered in ways that cause immense pain and distress.

Our latest investigation carried out alongside other NGOs, revealed the suffering inflicted on young calves exported outside the EU. The teams found terrified un-weaned calves being transported on lengthy, stressful journeys by road and sea from Europe to Israel. The calves were handled cruelly and kept in squalid conditions with little or no welfare provision, before facing a barbaric death.

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