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Cliffs lit up in celebration of live export ban

News Section Icon Published 16/05/2024

Cliff projection reads "No more live exports from Great Briain - thank you"

Last night (15th May), we celebrated that the Animal Welfare (Livestock Exports) Bill passed its final stage in Parliament on Tuesday (14th May) and will soon be enshrined in law.

A momentous occasion

Along with the RSPCA and Kent Action Against Live Exports (KAALE), we marked this momentous occasion with a projection on the White Cliffs of Dover, the port from which live animals have historically been packed into boats and shipped on gruelling journeys across the Channel and beyond.

For over 50 years, Compassion, the RSPCA, KAALE and other organisations have seen millions of signatures on petitions, thousands attending protest marches, and frequent demonstrations at UK ports. Together we gathered at the historic British landmark to see a film projected onto the cliffs which thanked all those who have helped to finally ban this cruel and unnecessary trade.

Extremely poignant

“It was extremely poignant to see an amazing win celebrated with a projection on such an iconic landmark,” said Anthony Field, Head of our UK Office.

“I’m tremendously proud of all that Team Compassion has done to help secure this legislation which will ensure farmed animals no longer suffer on unnecessary journeys from our shores to the continent and beyond. Compassion staff, volunteers, and supporters have all played a vital role in getting this Bill over the line. Together we have banned live exports!”

The global trade must now end

Every year, millions of live EU sheep and cattle endure long and stressful export journeys to places such as the Middle East or Africa where they face inhumane slaughter practices that would not be allowed in the EU. These unnecessary journeys often involve overstocking, vehicle or ship malfunctions, are very long and complex and take a huge toll on the animals.

The plight of live animals exported abroad was highlighted recently with an Australian livestock ship carrying 17,000 sheep and cattle to Israel stranded at sea for over a month due to security concerns - with thousands of animals enduring cramped conditions in the midst of a heatwave. Upon the animals returning to Australia, they remained onboard the vessel and have subsequently been re-exported - this time around Africa and through the Mediterranean.

Anthony added: “It’s fantastic to see the UK Government leading the way and banning this appallingly cruel trade. Now it’s time for the EU and other Governments around the world to follow suit and take steps to end the trade in live animal exports. It’s high time for the global trade in live animal exports to end.”

Read more about the steps that got us to this moment here.


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