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His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, 10 June 1921 to 9 April 2021

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An eight-week consultation, launched today in England and Wales, is seeking views on ending the export of live animals for slaughter and fattening where the journeys begin or transit through either country.

First published:
3 December 2020
Last updated:

Live animals commonly have to endure excessively long journeys during exports, causing distress and injury. Leaving the EU has enabled the UK Government to pursue these proposals which would prevent unnecessary suffering of animals during transport and see us become the first country in Europe to end this practice. 

We are also consulting on proposals to further improve animal welfare in transport more generally, such as:

  • reduced maximum journey times;
  • animals will be given more space and headroom during transport
  • stricter rules on transporting animals in extreme heat or cold
  • tighter rules for transporting live animals by sea.

The consultation follows an earlier call for evidence by the UK Government and Devolved Administrations in April 2018, on controlling live exports for slaughter and improving animal welfare during transport.

The Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths, said:  

We are committed to ensuring the highest standards of welfare for all animals kept in Wales. 

I believe a GB approach to be the best way forward in the future, to ensure we safeguard and improve the welfare of animals that are presently subject to long journeys. 

We will, in Wales, consider the findings from this consultation to shape our future policy direction on this devolved matter.

I urge the agriculture industry, partners and everyone with an interest in animal welfare to get involved and share their views with us on this important issue.