The export of live animals for slaughter and fattening could be banned following an eight-week consultation that was launched on December 3rd by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra).
The government is also consulting on proposals to help improve animal welfare in transport on a more general level, as well, including reduced maximum journey times, stricter rules on transportation during extreme temperatures, more space and headroom for animals and tighter rules on the transportation of live animals by sea.
Live animals often have to endure excessively long journeys during transportation, which can lead to distress and injury.
In the past, EU regulations have prevented any changes being made to journeys but after Brexit, the UK can pursue plans to help avoid unnecessary suffering of animals during transport, which would see the country become the first in Europe to bring an end to this practice.
George Eustice, environment secretary, said: “We are committed to improving the welfare of animals at all stages of life. Today marks a major step forward in delivering on our manifesto commitment to end live exports for slaughter.
“Now that we have left the EU, we have an opportunity to end this unnecessary practice. We want to ensure that animals are spared stress prior to slaughter.”
The latest on Brexit is that a trade and security deal could be agreed upon over the next few days after Boris Johnson accepted the need to make sure there was fair competition for British and European businesses as regulatory standards diverge in the future.
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