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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

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Bristol uni celebrates 75 years of teaching vets

News Story 1
 The University of Bristol's veterinary school is celebrating 75 years of educating veterinary students.

Since the first group of students were admitted in October 1949, the school has seen more than 5,000 veterinary students graduate.

Professor Jeremy Tavare, pro vice-chancellor and executive dean for the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, said: "I'm delighted to be celebrating Bristol Veterinary School's 75 years.

"Its excellence in teaching and research has resulted in greater understanding and some real-world changes benefiting the health and welfare of both animals and humans, which is testament to the school's remarkable staff, students and graduates." 

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News Shorts
RCVS HQ to temporarily relocate

The headquarters of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) is to move temporarily, ahead of its permanent relocation later in the year.

From Monday, 26 February 2024, RCVS' temporary headquarters will be at 2 Waterhouse Square, Holborn, London. This is within walking distance of its current rented offices at The Cursitor, Chancery Lane.

RCVS have been based at The Cursitor since February 2022, following the sale of its Westminster premises the previous March.

However, unforeseen circumstances relating to workspace rental company WeWork filing for bankruptcy means The Cursitor will no longer operate as a WeWork space. The new temporary location is still owned by WeWork.

RCVS anticipates that it will move into its permanent location at Hardwick Street, Clerkenwell, later on in the year.