CIWF launches new animal export campaign

Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) has launched a new campaign to end live animal exports, which was unveiled in London by actress and campaigner Joanna Lumley.

Lumley unveiled the charity’s new national bus advertising campaign in Trafalgar Square, which aims to highlight the resurgence of UK exports to the continent. The campaign has also involved a hard-hitting leaflet inserted in The Guardian newspaper.

CIWF said that the number of calf and sheep exports from Britain to the continent increased three-fold in 2011, to more than 80,000. It has called on British farmers to abandon the export trade.

Launching the campaign, Lumley urged farmers to find alternatives to live exports, saying that it needed to be more lucrative for animals to be slaughtered close to home.
Joyce D’Silva, CIWF’s director of public affairs, said: “Compassion calls on the farmers who still export their animals to find a market for them in the UK and spare them the horrors of the live export trade. We also urge the government to fight hard at the negotiating table in Brussels to set much shorter maximum journey times for animals in transit, preferably no more than eight hours.”

Supporters of the campaign are being asked to write to Thanet District Council, and ask them to raise the fees on the port of Ramsgate, which is the only port used for exports to the continent since May 2011.

A Defra spokesperson said: “Ideally we’d rather see the export of meat than live animals. But where animals are transported, we want good welfare standards, which includes ensuring they have suitable food and water and that journey times aren’t too long.

“We are pushing in Europe for a maximum journey time or a maximum distance limit to stop slaughter animals going on unnecessarily long journeys, and want vulnerable animals, such as unweaned calves, to get greater protection.”

Agriculture Minister Jim Paice has previously said he wanted to see all livestock slaughtered “as close as possible to where they are farmed”, but Eblex’s head of trade development Peter Hardwick said it was extremely unlikely that the European Commission would ever ban live exports.

>Livestock export welfare rules to be reviewed


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