More than 300 responses to live exports consultation

The Government has received a total of 366 responses to its call for evidence on live exports, which closed in May.

As set out in the original call for evidence, Defra has now passed information and evidence to the Farm Animal Welfare Committee (FAWC).

The FAWC has been asked to carry out a review of existing transport standards and make recommendations for improvements for when we leave the EU.

It’s expected that the FAWC report and recommendations will be made public before the end of the year.

The consultation ran from A

The Government wishes to improve the welfare of animals during transport by:

  • Reviewing the standards of welfare that currently apply; taking account of the most up-to-date veterinary and scientific knowledge; for example, on stricter journey times; and
  • Proposing a series of improvements and reforms.

Figures from 2016 show that each year more than 4,000 sheep are transported from the UK to continental Europe for slaughter.

It builds on a wide range of animal welfare reforms announced by the Government, including:
  • Making CCTV mandatory in slaughterhouses;
  • Increasing the maximum prison sentence for animal abuse from six months to five years;
  • Updating several animal welfare codes.

The evidence put forward and any future proposals are expected to be discussed with the devolved administrations.

The Government said it will work with the devolved administrations to try to ensure that any improvements are introduced consistently and without disadvantaging agriculture in any part of the UK.

An e-petition to Parliament to “end the export of live farm animals after Brexit” received nearly 100,000 signatures and was debated in Westminster Hall in February 2018.