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Every year, millions of farmed animals around the world are forced to endure journeys of hundreds, or even thousands, of miles, only to be slaughtered on arrival or be fattened, often in inhumane conditions.

Live animals, including calves, cattle, sheep, pigs, goats, and horses are routinely transported by road, rail, sea or air across continents. During their perilous journeys, they face extreme conditions such as overcrowding, exhaustion, dehydration, pain, and stress. In addition to this suffering, sometimes disasters can strike onboard; fires, ship sinkings, disease outbreaks, and trade route blockages, resulting in dire consequences causing thousands of casualties.

Compassion in World Farming has been campaigning on this issue for decades, calling for:

  • A ban on transporting live animals over long distance
  • A ban on international exports of live animals
  • Better enforcement of international legislation and guidelines on the welfare of animals in transport and slaughter
  • Ensuring animals are fattened and slaughtered as close as possible to their place of birth
  • A switch to a carcass-only trade

Great Britain bans live exports in May 2024

In 2024, after more than 50 years of relentless campaigning, the Animal Welfare (Livestock Exports) Bill in Great Britain became enshrined in law, meaning farmed animals could no longer be exported for slaughter or fattening. Thanks to the efforts of organisations, campaigners and supporters, tens of thousands of British farmed animals are no longer forced to endure journeys overseas, involving travelling for hundreds of miles, causing them to suffer from exhaustion, dehydration and even death.

International Awareness Day: 14 June

trucking hell ban live export campaign lorry

In 2016, Compassion launched Ban Live Exports International Awareness Day – an annual day of global action on 14 June, where people worldwide unite to speak out against this horrific and outdated trade. This day marks the anniversary of 13,000 sheep losing their lives when exported from Romania to Jordan and then Somalia in 2015. 

This awareness day has become a catalyst for action globally with a network of more than 150 NGOs and groups, spanning over 40 Countries – from Brazil to Australia and South Korea. We have taken part in protests, marches, petition launches, demonstrations, Twitter storms, and investigation launches in efforts to urge those in power to end live exports, once and for all.

This day is a chance to remind the world that animals are not cargo. They are sentient beings who should not be forced to endure gruelling journeys for days and even weeks only to be slaughtered on arrival or fattened in often inhumane conditions.

Learn more about this year’s Ban Live Exports International Awareness Day campaign.

Together, we can Ban Live Exports around the world for good.

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If you have any further questions regarding this, or any other matter, please get in touch with us at supporters@ciwf.org.uk. We aim to respond to all queries within two working days. However, due to the high volume of correspondence that we receive, it may occasionally take a little longer. Please do bear with us if this is the case. Alternatively, if your query is urgent, you can contact our Supporter Engagement Team on +44 (0)1483 521 953 (lines open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm).