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GB Live Export Ban

A ban is due to come into force in the next few months, which will stop live exports for slaughter and fattening from and through England, Scotland, and Wales.

A massive thank you!

Over the decades, our supporters have been the voice for farmed animals being transported overseas. Thanks to all of you, for adding pressure on governments, MPs, and councils, attending protests and rallies, and speaking out at ports and airports up and down the country. Every letter, demonstration, and signature has helped us get closer to a British live exports ban.

close up black faced sheep

'Maybe now this country can lead the way and ban this heinous trade. I pray that others will follow and show the compassion that we have craved for over 40 years.’ - Lynda Dobson

‘It is pure evil to export animals on long, hot, uncomfortable journeys just to be killed! The fact is it is only done out of greed. But the animals, as sentient beings, deserve a quality of life that is acceptable to them. We are the only ones who can be responsible for that, as we are the stewards of our communal home, the Earth.’ - Vania Terzopoulou 

group of volunteers at a stand outside
Rachel and Adrian Creed at a street fair in Norfolk, 2012

‘From our first street fair stall in Bungay, to our events at the Norwich Forum, we will be delighted to have, in a small way, contributed to a British live exports ban.’ - Rachel and Adrian Creed.

‘It was back in 1988/89 that a gentleman knocked on my door and asked if I’d sign a CIWF ‘Ban Live Export’ petition. That’s when I got involved. I went to demos and protests at Portsmouth, Shoreham, and Dover, and rallies in London. It's hard to think that this is still going on, despite the suffering. So, to think that a ban could be imminent is good news.’ - Dave Martin

Over the decades

live exports protest
Live export protest during the 1990s

1990: The UK was exporting millions of animals live each year for fattening or slaughter.

1991: The House of Commons Agriculture Committee published their Report on Animals in Transit stating that the transport of animals over long distances to be slaughtered was undesirable.

1995: The small Essex town of Brightlingsea blockaded itself for 10 months in protest to stop live animal exports.

1996: The outbreak of the BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy), otherwise known as ‘mad cow disease’, imposed a live export ban of British cattle from the UK for nearly a decade.

protestors ouside with signs
Protesters outside with Ban Live Export banners in Dover 2002

2006: The EU lifted the ban on British beef exports, meaning live animals born after 1st August 1996, beef products made from cattle slaughtered after 15th June 2005 were once again exported.

2006: Compassion and the RSPCA launched a major project (The Beyond Calf Exports Stakeholders Forum) within the dairy industry. This helped slash the export of male dairy calves by 90% between 2006 and 2012.

protestors in front of truck branded Trucking Hell
Protesters at Stop Live Transport Edinburgh Rally 2019

2010: Transport ship MV Joline started exporting animals from Dover. Shipments later moved to Ramsgate.

2011: For many months, Ramsgate was the only port in Britain where live exports for slaughter or fattening were undertaken, with more than 750,000 animals being transported over the year.

2012: A defective transport truck at Ramsgate caused more than 40 sheep to be put down due to their severe injuries, with some drowning after a floor collapsed in an area on the port. Thanet District Council placed a suspension on the trade, but the UK High Court decided to rule out the Judicial Review of live exports, allowing live exports to continue.

2013: Compassion undertook two investigations on the live export of animals out of the UK. It witnessed terrible conditions for these animals travelling for hundreds of miles.

2016: The first annual International Awareness Day took place. It raises awareness of the cruelty of live exports. In the UK, it was supported over the years by our high profile supporters and patrons, such as Peter Egan, Deborah Meaden, Evanna Lynch, Carley Stenson, plus more. And MPs from major political parties, including Caroline Lucas, Theresa Villiers, Sir David Amess, Craig Mackinlay, and Sir Roger Gale.

London underground station displaying Ban Live Exports advert
Ban Live Exports Digital Ad in London Underground Station

2020: Our supporters helped draw the attention of the horrors of live exports to millions of people in London. Compassion launched a high-profile ad campaign for a week, calling out the UK Government to end the trade.

2020: Taking the Scottish Government to court, Compassion launched Judicial Review proceedings challenging the unlawfulness of calves being exported on long journeys, kept without food on trucks for more than 8 hours. In turn, the Scottish Government stopped live calf exports.

2020: The social media hashtag #BanLiveExports was trending on Twitter, with 13 million views. Led by Compassion, it unified the support of 100 NGOs in 36 different countries.

2021: On 8th June, the UK Government published its new Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill marking an important milestone for farm animals.

2022: On 14th March, Compassion published digital ads in the London Underground calling on the UK Government to keep its promise and deliver the live export ban in Britain, without delay.

Now: Compassion supporters are keeping up the pressure with delays of this Bill, to finally ban live exports in Britain.

More ways to fight cruelty


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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).