RSPCA ‘encouraged’ by proposal on restricting live animal exports

Michael Gove, Secretary of State of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, has spoken out against live animal exports, claiming that Brexit provides an opportunity to restrict the practice. 

Speaking at the Conservative Party’s Conference in Manchester, he said the UK was committed to high standards of animal welfare once the UK exits from the EU.

He commented: “…outside the European Union’s single market, we can improve animal welfare, supporting more humane methods of farming and restricting the live export of animals.”

This follows on from the government making CCTV cameras in slaughterhouses mandatory, and proposals to maximise prison time for those convicted of animal cruelty to five years.

The RSPCA said that, after two decades of campaigning, it was encouraged by the Secretary of State for Environment’s intentions to restrict the “cruel and unnecessary long journey times” animals undergo on the road to slaughter.

“The campaign to end the live export of animals for slaughter or further fattening purposes is one of the RSPCA’s longest-running campaigns, and should be consigned to the past,” explained RSCPA head of public affairs David Bowles.

“We have worked with other animal welfare organisations, not to mention the relentless campaigning from the public, who have been responsible for hundreds of thousands of petition signatures and letters to MPs, to call for an end to the live export of animals for slaughter or further fattening purposes. Brexit gives us this opportunity.”

Bowles added: “Along with the toughening of sentences for those convicted of animal cruelty, which was also announced in the Environment Secretary’s speech, Mr Gove gave his commitment to taking steps to restrict the export of live farm animals for slaughter as we leave the EU.

“However, until a complete end to this trade is brought about, our inspectors will continue to attend the sailings from the Port of Ramsgate, where live exports take place, in order to monitor any animals that are involved with this trade.”

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