London, 15th January 2024
Today (Monday 15th January) Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation (CAWF) has welcomed the Animal Welfare (Livestock Exports) Bill passing its remaining stages in the House of Commons. This included the Committee Stage, Consideration and Third Reading.
This follows the First Reading which took place on 4th December and the Second Reading which took place on 18th December.
During the Third Reading, Minister Mark Spencer said that ending live exports for fattening and slaughter “is close to the hearts of many in this House”.
Several Conservative MPs spoke in support of the Bill, including Patron and former Secretary of State for Defra Theresa Villiers MP, Patron Henry Smith MP, Natalie Elphicke MP, former Secretary of State for Defra Dr Therese Coffey MP, and Sir Mike Penning MP.
The Animal Welfare (Livestock Exports) Bill will ban the export of cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and horses for slaughter and fattening from Great Britain, stopping unnecessary stress, exhaustion and injury caused by exporting live animals. You can read more about the Bill here.
The commitment to end live exports for fattening and slaughter honours a popular Conservative Party Manifesto commitment and delivers an important component of Defra’s Action Plan for Animal Welfare.
Since the founding of Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation in 2016, ending live exports for fattening and slaughter has been a core campaign. Historically Great Britain has exported large numbers of sheep and calves abroad to France and as far afield as Spain. Overcrowding means that some cannot lie down at all, while those who do may be injured or trampled to death. They can be in transit for days, suffering extremes of temperature and often without sufficient food, water or rest.
Animals may end up in countries with far poorer welfare standards than our own, enduring practices which are illegal in the UK such as veal crates. Calves placed into the Dutch white veal pen systems, where they are unable to perform natural behaviour, are barely able to turn around.
Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation would like to thank the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak MP, Secretary of State for Defra Steve Barclay MP, and the Defra team for their continued support for this critical measure which will spare many animals the suffering they endure on long journeys overseas.
The Bill will now enter the House of Lords in order to complete its passage through Parliament and become law.
Lorraine Platt, Co-Founder of Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation, commented: “We are delighted the Animal Welfare (Livestock Exports) Bill passed its Remaining Stages in the House of Commons today. These are important next steps on the legislative path to sparing countless animals the suffering they endure on journeys overseas for fattening and slaughter.
“It is clear this Bill –which delivers a key Manifesto commitment, as well as an important component of Defra’s Action Plan for Animal Welfare– enjoys the strong support of MPs across the political spectrum.
“We are grateful to Secretary of State Steve Barclay and Minister Mark Spencer for leading the Bill, and to the wider Defra team for their hard work on this important subject. We would also like to thank our Patrons Theresa Villiers MP and Henry Smith MP for their contributions today. We look forward to supporting the Bill as it enters the House of Lords in due course.”
About Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation (CAWF)
The Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation was established in 2016 to raise awareness on the lives of billions of animals reared on intensive farms around the world and how this impact upon animal welfare, the environment and people’s health. We want to highlight the action people can take to help advance farm animal welfare.
Animal welfare is an increasing concern amongst the public, who frequently look to Government to take the lead in both maintaining and improving standards.
The Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation believes it is highly important that the welfare of farm animals is placed at the forefront of the Governments plan for food and farming along with its focus on productivity, competitiveness, and technology.
Media contact: Sophia Stileman (firstname.lastname@example.org)