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New UK powers could open door to ban on live exports

03 December 2018

UK, 3 December 2018 - Significant new powers granted to the UK and devolved nations post brexit, could be used to introduce a ban on live exports, claims the RSPCA

As the UK develops its animal welfare standards in preparation for Brexit, significant changes to the law were agreed last week, formally handing powers over to the UK’s devolved authorities which would allow them to set their own regulations on live transport.

The RSPCA would like to see the Governments use these powers to ban live exports for slaughter and, at the very least, introduce greatly improved conditions of animals during transport.

RSPCA Head of Public Affairs, David Bowles said: “This gives the UK new powers to control more of its own animal welfare standards.

“By setting our own regulations, we can ensure transport conditions for livestock far surpass those required under EU law, including the hours and distance the animals are allowed to travel within the UK and for any animals exported. These changes even give Government the power to ban live exports, something we would strongly urge them to consider.

“This is a landmark moment, and may be viewed as a significant step in the UK’s journey to take back control of its own laws. We would urge the Government to grab this opportunity now and make animals’ lives better.”

Among the measures the RSPCA would like to see introduced are much more robust and transparent pre-journey veterinary checks to avoid transporting animals which are unfit to travel.

It would also be possible to set new journey times for animals being transported within the UK and to the continent and will mean that England - and Wales if it chooses - will be able to break away from EU law on these matters.

These new powers, along with a new Agriculture Bill recognising animal welfare as a public good and funding for farmers to introduce welfare improvements, means the UK is forging ahead of the EU with regard to animal welfare standards.

Find out more about what the RSPCA is doing about live export here



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