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This week Parliament debated banning the live export of animals, after an online petition against the trade garnered 95,000 signatures.

Animal welfare campaigners are calling on the Government to ban the unpopular practice after Brexit, when the UK no longer has to adhere to EU ‘movement of goods’ regulations.

On the morning of the debate, it was revealed that more than 5,000 calves endured journeys of up to 135 hours being transported from Scotland to Spain and Italy in a report by The Times based on a Freedom of Information request.

No news

During the debate, no announcement was made regarding the future of live export.

According to DEFRA Minister George Eustice, the Government is ‘looking into the issue of live exports’ and how best to legislate on it.

Welfare charity Compassion in World Farming said: “Unfortunately it appears any future legislation will only relate to animals exported for slaughter.

“Compassion would like to see a ban on animals exported from the UK for slaughter and further fattening.”

Support

Compassion in World Farming Campaign Officer, Erin Cameron, attended the debate, saying: “It’s great to see the live exports of animals moving up the political agenda.

“There has been a huge wave of support from MPs, celebrities and the British public for this petition.

“With so many voices are speaking out against this cruel and unnecessary trade, surely it is only a matter of time before is brought to an end.”

Pressure

Speaking about politicians debating the issue, anti-live export campaigners from group KAALE told PBN: “We must keep the pressure up.

“We were very surprised by the interest shown and the number of the great and good who support our cause.

“We felt suddenly not alone in this David and Goliath fight and it gave us great hope. “

The petition – which was launched last October – will be open until March 19.

Maria Chiorando

Maria is the editor of Plant Based News. As a former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers, as well as Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle.