The UK Government are proposing to ban live animal exports after Brexit. Currently, under EU law the UK has to comply with ‘movements of goods’ regulations, which in 2016 alone saw 4,000 sheep sent to slaughter in Europe.
Following Brexit, the UK Government has the chance to end this trade, and no longer send animals to slaughter in mainland Europe. Michael Gove, Environment Secretary has launched a call for evidence to potentially ban live exports, which runs until May 22nd. Gove said: “All animals deserve to get the respect and care they deserve at every stage of their lives. This call for evidence begins to deliver on our manifesto commitment which aims to control the export of live animals for slaughter once we leave the European Union.
“With all options being considered, I am keen to hear from industry, the devolved authorities and charities on all possible options and evidence on this vital issue.”
The British Veterinary Association commented on the news, with President John Fishwick, saying: “BVC welcomes the launch of the government’s call for evidence on live animal exports. […] It is vital that we maintain the UK’s current high standards of animal welfare post-Brexit and seek opportunities to improve them.
“We look forward to contributing to this call and seeing the results once the evidence has been collected.”
The UK Government are also including mandatory CCTV in all slaughterhouses, increasing animal abuse sentences from six months to five years as well as updating a number of animal welfare codes during animal welfare reforms as the UK prepares to leave the EU.