Day: May 26, 2022

UK: Live Animal Exports – Overview Of The Current Situation.

Live Animal Transport

Photo – Mark WAV

WAV Comment –

The UK government has recently (since Brexit and leaving the EU) undertaken a consultation on live animal transport which has been open to the British public and any for / against (live export) organisations wishing to submit comments on the subject of all categories associated with live animal transport (exports).  We at WAV took a lot of time (several weeks) with precise submissions and evidence to argue our case on why we considered that long distance live animal transport is unnecessary and should be banned – or at the very most be a one off transport time of 8 hours maximum; which would basically stop all exports from the UK to mainland Europe. 

Here is just one short clip of the response start:

Q1: Do you agree that livestock and horse export journeys for slaughter and fattening are unnecessary?

87% of respondents agreed that livestock and horse export journeys for slaughter and fattening are unnecessary. 11%4 disagreed and 2% did not express a definitive opinion. The majority of respondents who agreed that such journeys are unnecessary were members of the general public and animal welfare groups. The main reason respondents gave for agreeing was that they were concerned about welfare standards during the transportation of live animals. Many individual respondents and animal welfare organisations stated that live exports were cruel and degrading to the animals involved.

Great to see such a high figure of 87% of the British people and organisations basically agreed that live animal exports were unnecessary.

The full document which details the summary of responses to every section of the consultation:

Document title – UK Government:  Improvements to animal welfare in transport Summary of responses and government response Date: August 2021

Click on the following to review the document:

Improvements to animal welfare in transport: summary of responses and government response (

In this document – an Introduction by the UK government:

The welfare of all animals, including in transport, is a real priority for both the UK Government and the Welsh Government. The UK Government has a manifesto commitment to end excessively long journeys for slaughter and fattening, which we are taking forward through our Kept Animals Bill.

Now we have left the EU, we have the opportunity to look at alternative methods to better protect animal welfare during transport. The Farm Animal Welfare Committee (FAWC, now known as the Animal Welfare Committee) report in 2019 identified several aspects of transport that have a detrimental effect on animal welfare. They made a series of recommendations to the current regulations on animal welfare during transport. A Welsh Government response to this paper was published in 2020.

Following the findings in this report, we have looked at improvements to animal welfare in transport, including maximum journey times, thermal conditions and ventilation, space and headroom allowances and sea transport.

We have received a wide range of views to our consultation. We have listened to those views, and will continue to work with industry, NGOs and others to identify priorities where the evidence is clear and in other cases to explore some of the issues and evidence together in more detail. I want us to work together to develop practical solutions that generate the good welfare outcomes we all want to see.

This is a big step, but where the evidence is clear we must act. We want to work with industry to co-design solutions to achieve high welfare outcomes and help them make this transition.

The Rt Hon George Eustice MP Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Lesley Griffiths MS Minister for Rural Affairs and North Wales, and Trefnydd

As a result of the consultation, the following statement was issued by the UK government:

Live animal exports

Having considered the evidence available, including responses to this consultation, the government confirms it will proceed with a ban on the export of livestock (cattle, sheep, goats and pigs) and horses from England, Wales and Scotland for slaughter and fattening. Exports for slaughter and fattening from England, Wales and Scotland will be prohibited whether the animals originate from or are travelling through England, Wales and Scotland.

For the purposes of this consultation, exports for fattening were defined as exports where the animal is to be slaughtered within 6 months of arrival. A large proportion of respondents were critical of the proposed definition and considered a time limit to be unenforceable. Having taken account of this feedback, we propose to remove the reference to a 6-month time limit so that the prohibition will apply to all exports of livestock and horses where an animal is exported to the place of destination in order to be fattened for subsequent slaughter.

To further support our (WAV) welfare organisations call for a complete ban on live animal exports; I have decided to include here for you a series of undercover videos which were undertaken in years prior to the consultation relating to live export issues around Europe.  I have included journey routes, times and animal species.  So here we go:

CIWF live export investigations.

Below are undercover investigations undertaken by CIWF (London).

Video links for each are given; but if you wish to read additional information about the investigations, then head to:

Our investigations into live animal transport | Compassion in World Farming (

  • UK to continental Europe – Trucking Hell.

Journey route: Southern Scotland to France and beyond

Animals transported: Calves

  • Journey route: Eastern Europe to Israel

Estimated distance: 2,500 miles

Estimated time: 7 days

Animals transported: Calves

  • Journey route: Northern England to Western France

Estimated distance: 630 miles

Estimated time: 18 hours

Animals transported: Sheep

  • Journey route: Southern England to Southern Germany

Estimated distance: 590 miles

Estimated time: 23 hours

Animals transported: Sheep

  • Journey route: West of England to Northern Spain

Estimated distance: 1,100 miles

Estimated time: 60 hours

Animals transported: Calves

  • Journey route: Hungary & Slovakia to Turkey and Latvia to Iraq

Estimated distance: 3,000 miles

Estimated time: up to 13 days

Animals transported: Bulls – click ‘watch on YouTube’ to view.

  • Journey route: EU to Turkey

Animals transported: Sheep and cattle

  • Journey route: Poland to Italy & the Netherlands

Estimated distance: over 1,000 miles

Estimated time: over 24 hours

Animals transported: Calves

Additional – For more and info on the international live export awareness day on 14/6/22 please click on  Ban Live Exports | Compassion in World Farming (  or go to

Ban Live Exports International Awareness Day | Compassion in World Farming (

Regards Mark

EU: Member States Make Clear They Are Positive About Protecting Animals.

24 May 2022


Press Release

Today, at the meeting of the Council of the European Union (Agriculture and Fisheries) a position paper was submitted by Cyprus and co-signed by Lithuania, Luxembourg and Malta, calling for the European Commission to explore the potential benefits of an EU wide positive list. The paper was supported by a vast majority of Member States, and demonstrates an understanding of the need to regulate the pet trade in a precautionary way across the EU.

An EU Positive List of allowed species is an instrument through which animals are objectively and scientifically assessed on their safety and suitability to be traded and kept as pets. If an animal is not found on the list, it would not be legal to keep it as a pet, as opposed to a negative list, which only includes prohibited animals. 

Crucially, the Positive List represents a precautionary approach, as opposed to a reactive approach of the negative list, which lags behind trends in the (exotic) pet trade, leading to a false sense of acceptability, safety and welfare of species not on the list.

This comprehensive risk assessment can be done on the basis of various risk criteria, most notably those relating to animal welfare, biodiversity protection, public health and safety, and invasiveness risks:

Animal Welfare: many animal species are unsuitable to be kept as pets and, as a result, they suffer greatly at all stages of keeping. During capture, transport and eventual captivity, these animals’ complex behavioural and social needs cannot be met.

Biodiversity protection: animals taken from the wild can lead to population decline and endangerment of species. Keeping potentially invasive animals as pets, which can be released through escape or intentional release, poses an enormous threat to native wildlife.

Public health and safety: the threat of zoonotic disease transfer is well recognised due to the COVID Pandemic. Diseases that are harmful to humans can be passed from wild animals kept as pets, with the additional danger of stressed animals attacking or hurting their owners.

Currently, eight EU Member States (Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Malta, Lithuania, Cyprus, France, Slovenia) have introduced positive lists legislation for distinct groups of animals, and eight more are discussing such measures. 

The European Parliament (EP) expressed its support for the Commission to establish a Positive List, sometimes referred to as a White List, in the European Parliament Report on the EU Biodiversity Strategy.

Today Member States proved their strong support for the Positive List, recognising it as a fundamental tool to protect animals, human health and biodiversity. Now it is the turn of the European Commission to act and finally regulate the exotic pets trade. With the AGRIFISH Council and the EP supporting it, civil society’s requests can no longer be ignored. We celebrate today’s milestone but we want to see it through until the Positive List becomes an established practice in the EU. The perfect opportunity to do this is through the forthcoming Wildlife Trafficking Action Plan, due in the autumn, and also the new Animal Welfare proposals at the end of next year.

Reineke Hameleers, CEO, Eurogroup for Animals

We see today’s discussion on the EU Positive List in the AGRIFISH Council really as a watershed moment. It shows that EU Member States not only recognize the Positive List as the most effective and efficient way to regulate the exotic pet trade, but also see a clear need for EU-wide harmonisation. The current legislative framework is not equipped to prevent the animal suffering and cross-border risks to public health, public safety and biodiversity that are associated with this type of trade. We urgently need a solid, precautionary approach in the form of an EU Positive List. We expect the European Commission to take this call – now coming from both the European Parliament and Member States – very seriously.

David van Gennep, CEO, AAP Animal Advocacy and Protection


Position paper

Think Positive: Why Europe Needs ‘Positive Lists’ to Regulate the Sale and Keeping of Exotic Animals as Pets

2020 opinion poll on exotic animals kept as pets

Exotic Pet Trade: Analysis of the Problems and Identification of Solutions

Analysis of national legislation related to the keeping and sale of exotic pets in Europe

More information on the exotic pet trade

Regards Mark

Kindness Footprints – Philip Wollen – WAV Patron.

Philip is our Patron here at WAV.

We share many things, but especially that of promoting veganism and also of stopping the transport of live animals all around the world – live exports.

14/6/21 – Mr Philip Wollen Becomes The First WAV Patron; We Are (More Than) Delighted, and Welcome Him To The Group. – World Animals Voice

Home – Winsome Constance Kindness (

Thanks to Phil for leaving his major exec job in the corporate world and instead being a voice for animals.

We are all united in our attempts to make things better; a lot better.

Regards Mark