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The shame of the worldwide live transport trade

Please note this contains some distressing scenes from the outset

Our latest investigation trails one of the many exhausting journeys that unweaned calves have recently made from Scotland to the Continent. Filmed over three days, this investigation reveals the cramped and gruelling conditions animals are forced to endure during UK live exports. Hearing the calves cry out, and watching them try to suckle and bite the bars of their truck, is heartbreaking.

Sadly, this is just one terrible example of the cruelty inflicted on animals by long distance live transport. That is why it is crucial we push now more than ever to end this trade.

The long distance transport of animals results in suffering and poor welfare conditions, regardless of where those animals are going to or from. Compassion in World Farming believes that all animals should be slaughtered or fattened as near as possible to home, and that all long distance live transport should stop and be replaced with a carcass only trade. Please help us end the long distance transport of animals by taking some of the actions below.

Urge British politicians to act on live exports

  • Email Your MP

    If you live in the UK, ask your elected representative to call for a ban on live exports for slaughter and fattening.

Help stop Europe’s cruel live export trade

  • Tell European Commissioners to act and stop exports from the EU to non-EU countries

    When EU animals are exported to countries outside the EU, anything can happen to them. They can end up exported to volatile war-zones and face brutal slaughter. The EU must take responsibility for these animals. 

Other actions to help end the long distance transport of animals

  • 14th June is our fourth annual Stop Live Transport International Awareness Day. Check out for more information and ways to get involved.
  • Sign up for campaign updates from us.
  • Become a friend of Compassion's Facebook page.
  • Like the Facebook page of Stop Live Exports from the Port of Ramsgate, run by Ian Driver, the local councillor who is a driving force in the campaign to end live exports through the port of Ramsgate, and Kent Action Against Live Exports (KAALE). KAALE and its supporters are at the Port of Ramsgate to witness every live exports sailing. If you would like further information about when live animal exports are leaving Ramsgate, please email with your name and mobile telephone number and ask for your details to be added to their list of people who receive text message alerts.
  • KAALE also hold demos at the Port of Dover on the first Saturday of every month. They post the details on their website. Animals exported live from Britain were sent through Dover for many years before the exporters switched to Ramsgate. If you can, please go along and show your support. Their news line is 01304 204688 and you can email them at

Please note: Compassion supports legal non-violent protest against live exports. Since we oppose violence to animals, we also oppose violence, intimidation and abuse towards people during any protest. We would additionally recommend that noise levels are kept low in the presence of animal trucks – the animals are suffering enough stress already.

What else can be done?

  • Sign up to the blog of Compassion's Chief Executive, Philip Lymbery.
  • Only buy organic milk and dairy products from suppliers that have a policy against the live export of calves and encourage your friends and family to do the same.
  • Learn more about live animal transport and live animal export by reading reports by Compassion.
  • Reduce the need for calf exports. If you buy veal, buy British veal.
  • Donate to Compassion in World Farming and help support our campaigns.