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Global citizens unite to Ban Live Exports

News Section Icon Published 6/18/2024

People viewing a photographic exhibition
Credit: Forum Animal Brazil

The ninth Ban Live Exports International Awareness Day, on 14 June, saw thousands of people across the world collectively call for an end to the barbaric trade.

Activists and citizens got online to share a video encapsulating the horrors of the trade, voicing the same unwavering message that governments around the world must Ban Live Exports for good.

A global trade in cruelty and suffering

Every year, millions of live animals – including calves, sheep and pigs – are transported by road, rail, sea or air across continents on journeys lasting days and even weeks. The animals are transported to other countries for fattening, or slaughter, often facing inhumane treatment, with little legal protection for their welfare.

Just weeks ago, Great Britain introduced a ban on live exports for fattening and slaughter, and last month Australia announced that live sheep exports by sea would be banned from 2028.

Yet many countries and jurisdictions around the world have no plans to end the trade, despite indisputable evidence of the pain and suffering it causes tens of millions of sentient animals each year.

Last year, we released a report, A Data Dump of Suffering, which revealed previously undisclosed records relating to the enormity of the live exports trade within and from the EU. In addition to over 44 million animals transported within the Union, over 4 million are exported outside of it, primarily to the Middle East and Africa.

Our Chief Policy officer, Peter Stevenson summarised some of the welfare issues resulting from this trade in an article in The Brussels Times.

The world calls for change

On 14 June 2015, 13,000 sheep lost their lives while being exported from Romania to Jordan and then Somalia. Appalled by this disaster, we set up an international day to honour these animals, where people could come together and urge for change to end the unnecessary suffering and loss of life.

For the last nine years we have coordinated the international awareness day, leading protests and marches, launching petitions and investigations to urge those in power to end live exports, once and for all.

This year, from Australia to South Africa, Argentina to Spain, citizens and NGOS from around the world called for action. In Brazil, which exported around 500,000 farmed animals in 2023, our partners Forum Animal hosted a photographic exhibition in a busy train station, raising awareness to passers-by.

Our video was viewed over 3,500 times and the hashtag #BanLiveExports was used nearly 6,000 times on X (formerly Twitter).

Our Patron Dame Joanna Lumley spoke of her joy that Great Britain has brought about a ban and called for international action, commenting:

“I am so thrilled that live farmed animals will never again be exported on long, horrendous journeys from Great Britain only to be fattened or slaughtered. Now the rest of the world must follow.”

Debbie Tripley, our Global Director of Campaigns and Policy Advocacy, said:

“Just weeks ago, we were celebrating as Great Britain introduced a ban on the live export of farmed animals for fattening and slaughter, and Australia set a date for the end of sheep exports. Yet millions of animals will continue to suffer until countries across the world – and notably, the European Union – call an end to this barbaric trade that has no place in the 21st century.”

Share our Ban Live Exports International Awareness Day 2024 video


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