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A triumphant year for farmed animals in turbulent times

News Section Icon Published 18/12/2023

lambs and ewes in a snowy field

This has been a year of immense challenges. But, thanks to your kindness and compassion, 2023 has seen historic wins against factory farming, and brings hope for a brighter future for animals, people and our planet. As the year draws to a close, let’s look back at what we’ve achieved.

A Bill to Ban Live Exports

Earlier this month the Animal Welfare (Livestock Exports) Bill, was introduced to Parliament. This action swiftly follows the announcement of the Bill made during the State Opening of Parliament last month and marks the first of a series of stages that the Bill must pass through, before it can be enshrined in law. The Bill will deliver on a longstanding Government commitment to finally ban the export of live farmed animals for slaughter or fattening from Great Britain.

We have fought long and hard to stop farmed animals being crammed into vehicles on long, stressful journeys overseas causing them to suffer from exhaustion, dehydration and even death.

“Together with our supporters – and working alongside other organisations such as Kent Action Against Live Exports – we have relentlessly spear-headed this campaign for over 50 years, and we are so close to seeing the UK finally ban this horrific practice one and for all,” said James West, our Chief Public Affairs Manager. “However, we are not over the finish line just yet. It is vital that this legislation is passed before the general election, so we will continue to keep up the pressure in 2024 to ensure the Government deliver on their promise.”

Animal sentience recognised in law

In May, we welcomed the enactment of the Animal Welfare (Sentience) Act, and the establishment of the Animal Sentience Committee (ASC).

As a result, animals in the UK are now legally recognised as sentient beings, and the Committee can scrutinise whether their welfare has been considered when making and implementing policy. The enactment of this legislation is a hugely positive development, helping to secure a better future for UK farmed animals and their welfare this year and beyond.

Extinction or Regeneration

Our two-day conference, held in London, in May, saw the world’s leading thinkers – from fields including climate science, animal welfare, finance, regenerative farming and food policy – gather to discuss better ways of producing our food to ensure we head towards regeneration rather than extinction.

The conference featured a dynamic schedule of talks and interactive sessions, as well as roundtables and networking opportunities, with around 700 delegates joining either in person or online from 37 countries around the world.

Following the successful event, we are working with our conference partners to progress these solutions through a series of webinars – collaborating with experts, governments, and businesses across all relevant sectors to develop the ideas shared into practical policy solutions that can create a global food system that works for human, animal and planetary health.

Great global gains

It’s not only here in the UK that we’ve made significant progress for farmed animals this year, we’ve also had some incredible wins across the globe.

  • In the US, we celebrated a pivotal victory when the Supreme Court rejected the pork industry’s challenge to California’s ‘Proposition 12’. Judges upheld California’s ban on the production or sale of pork, veal or eggs from caged or crated animals. This vital ruling will help protect millions of animals from cage cruelty every year.
  • Our US team also successfully campaigned to see the only octopus farm in America permanently shut down.
  • Our corporate engagement in Asia is taking off, with 25 million animals set to benefit from better lives due to new company commitments to cage-free produce in China, Japan, and Thailand.
  • We’re helping more and more companies commit to improving animal welfare and holding them to account for their pledges to move to more sustainable, resilient food systems. Over 2.5 billion animals are now set to benefit each year thanks to your backing for our Food Business programme.

A huge thank you

“Your support has been astounding this year, as always,” said Anthony Field, Head of our UK Office. “It’s because of your continued commitment and compassion that we can fight for a better future for farmed animals. We are so grateful to all our amazing supporters – thank you so much.”

We could not have accomplished this tremendous progress for animals without your dedicated support. From all of us here at Compassion we wish you a wonderful Christmas season and a very happy New Year!



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