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The UK will become the first European country to ban live animal exports, according to reports.

Under EU single market rules, no member state can ban live animal exports. However, the Brexit transition period is set to end on December 31. After this, such a change would be possible. 

‘Opportunity of Brexit’

While The Conservative Party manifesto says the UK would be able to ban live shipments post Brexit, it has not officially pledged to do so.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has however frequently claimed he will use the ‘opportunity of Brexit’ to ‘champion animal welfare’. Back in 2018, he penned a piece for The Sun where he described live animals being sent overseas for slaughter or fattening as a ‘barbaric trade’.

‘Cruel practice’

According to the publication, last night a No. 10 source said: “The Prime Minister has always been a passionate supporter of animal welfare, and as part of his plans to build back better and fairer, he is determined to make sure that the UK continues its proud tradition of protecting animals.

“Free from EU red tape, we can now do away with the cruel practice of exporting live animals for slaughter and fattening – setting an example to other countries with our world-leading standards.”

The Guardian also declared that the UK will become the first country in Europe to ban live animal exports. However, the article has been removed and an error page says it will be ‘restored at the correct time’. 

Boris Johnson has not commented on the matter at the time of writing

Liam Giliver

Liam is the former Deputy Editor of Plant Based News. He has written for The Independent, Huffington Post, Attitude Magazine, and more. He is also the author of 'We're Worried About Him'.