Search icon

Parliament debate live animal exports

News Section Icon Published 27/02/2018

UK sheep to Germany trail 7.jpg

Yesterday (26th February), Parliament debated a ban on live animal exports from the UK following pressure from an online petition calling for the Government to ‘End the export of live farm animals after Brexit’.

95,000 signatures

The petition, launched in October, gained an incredible 95,000 signatures in the lead up to the debate – clearly demonstrating the British public’s want to end this cruel trade – and will remain open for another month, until 19th March.

On the morning of the debate, The Times released a story revealing the lengthy journeys - lasting up to 135 hours - more than 5,000 young calves had to endure in 2017, whilst being transported from Scotland to Spain and Italy. This article was based on data obtained by Compassion, though a Freedom of Information request.

Disappointingly, no major announcement was made during the debate, although DEFRA Minister George Eustice did reconfirm that the Government are looking into the issue of live exports and how best to legislate on it. Unfortunately it appears any future legislation will only relate to animals exported for slaughter. Compassion would like to see a ban on animals exported from the UK for slaughter and further fattening

A huge wave of support

Our Campaign Officer, Erin Cameron, who was present at the event said: “It’s great to see the live exports of animals moving up the political agenda. There has been a huge wave of support from MPs, celebrities and the British public for this petition. With so many voices are speaking out against this cruel and unnecessary trade, surely it is only a matter of time before is brought to an end.”

Last month, we supported a parliamentary reception organised by the Stop Live Export Petition Team and the Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation to raise awareness of the inhumane live transport trade and to call upon MPs to push for a ban. The reception attracted over 50 MPs and high profile supporters including Joanna Lumley and Selina Scott.

Keeping up the pressure

Thank you to everyone who supported the petition. If you haven’t done so already, then please sign and share today to add your voice and help keep up the pressure!



You are using an outdated browser which we do not support. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience and security.

If you have any further questions regarding this, or any other matter, please get in touch with us at We aim to respond to all queries within two working days. However, due to the high volume of correspondence that we receive, it may occasionally take a little longer. Please do bear with us if this is the case. Alternatively, if your query is urgent, you can contact our Supporter Engagement Team on +44 (0)1483 521 953 (lines open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm).