Your data on MRCVSonline
The nature of the services provided by Vision Media means that we might obtain certain information about you.
Please read our Data Protection and Privacy Policy for details.

In addition, (with your consent) some parts of our website may store a 'cookie' in your browser for the purposes of
functionality or performance monitoring.
Click here to manage your settings.
If you would like to forward this story on to a friend, simply fill in the form below and click send.

Your friend's email:
Your email:
Your name:
Send Cancel

King's Speech promises livestock export ban
The ban has been welcomed by animal welfare and veterinary organisations.
But lack of other animal welfare measures draws criticism.

The live export of animals for fattening or slaughter will be banned, the Government has announced.

Included in the King’s Speech on Tuesday, 7 September, the Animal Welfare (Livestock Exports) Bill will ban the export of cattle, sheep, pigs, goats and horses.

Although no animals have been exported for slaughter since 31 December 2020, the new law will make this permanent.

The news has been welcomed by animal welfare organisations who have campaigned over many decades for the practice to be banned. In September, a petition signed by more than 95,000 people was submitted to the Prime Minister by Compassion in World Farming.

Following the announcement, the charity’s patron Dame Joanna Lumley said: “This is absolutely marvellous news. Now the Government must deliver and ban the archaic practice of transporting live animals on long and arduous journeys overseas for slaughter or fattening once and for all.

“Exporting live animals is utterly unnecessary. They suffer enormous stress, exhaustion, dehydration and overcrowding. We have seen a series of broken promises from Government on this subject over the years so this is very welcome news. This bill must now be passed as a matter of urgency.”

A ban on live exports had previously formed part of the Kept Animals Bill, which was dropped by the Government earlier this year. The bill had included a range of additional animal welfare measures, including a ban on importing dogs with cropped ears and measures to tackle puppy smuggling and livestock worrying.

The limited amount of animal health and welfare legislation in the King’s Speech has drawn criticism from the animal welfare and veterinary sectors.

British Veterinary Association president Anna Judson said: “Whilst it’s positive to see the existing stop on live animal exports for slaughter will now be made permanent, the Government needs to urgently turn its attention to strengthening rules on animal importation which are exposing the UK to the serious emerging diseases like Brucella canis.

“In addition, the Government must deliver on its manifesto commitment to close the legal loopholes enabling the import of animals who have been subject to cruel and unnecessary mutilations which are illegal in the UK, like cropping dogs’ ears.”

Image © Shutterstock

Become a member or log in to add this story to your CPD history

VMG president joins House of Lords

News Story 1
 Miles Russell, president of the Veterinary Management Group (VMG), has been elected to the House of Lords as a crossbench hereditary peer.

He will join Lord Trees as a representative of the veterinary sector in the second chamber of the UK parliament.

Lord Russell said: "Those of us working in the animal health and veterinary sectors are only too aware of the importance of the work we do and the challenges we face.

"I will use my platform in the House of Lords to increase understanding of our sectors and to promote positive change." 

Click here for more...
News Shorts
Sixth case of bluetongue confirmed

A sixth case of bluetongue virus serotype 3 has been confirmed in the UK.

The case was detected in an animal on a premises linked to one of the farms within the Temporary Control Zone (TCZ) currently in place near Canterbury, Kent.

In response, the Animal and Plant Health Agency has extended the TCZ. Investigations into the spread of the disease are ongoing.

The cases in Kent come at a time when a new strain of the virus has spread rapidly across farms in the Netherlands. Both the Government and the British Veterinary Association have urged livestock keepers to remain vigilant.

Bluetongue is a notifiable disease and suspected cases must be reported immediately on 03000 200 301 in England or 03003 038 268 in Wales. In Scotland, possible cases should be reported to the local field services office.