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Environment Environment

Take steps to control the export of live farm animals for slaughter

Last updated: 09:27am 15 January 2019

As we leave the European Union, we can take early steps to control the export of live farm animals for slaughter.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.26

Our verdict

This policy is part of the government’s initiative to deliver a “green Brexit“, which results in improved environmental standards in the UK. At the moment, the trade and transport of live animals is governed by EU law, as opposed to the UK’s national laws. The UK is obligated to abide by EU laws until such time as Brexit is finalised, at which point the government will be able to make changes.

The government has already begun to prepare on matters related to this pledge. From April to May 2018, the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) undertook a consultation on live exports and improving animal welfare. The results were passed to the Farm Animal Welfare Committee who have been asked to carry out a review and make recommendations for improvements.

In December 2018, government guidance on exporting animals and animal products if there’s no Brexit deal included a mention of the FAWC work:

“The Farm Animal Welfare Committee (FAWC) are undertaking this review of the welfare in transport regulatory regime, and proposals will be made in light of that FAWC report”

This policy can be marked as ‘in progress’, recognising what the government has done so far.  To move it to ‘done’, we would expect to see legislation regarding live animal exports for slaughter once Brexit is finalised. Follow this policy for updates.

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