Historic news: United Kingdom bans live animal export in landmark decision

A new law in the UK will end the export of farmed animals for fattening or slaughter, ending decades of suffering for millions of animals. This law marks the end of 50 years of campaigning by various animal protection organizations, including Animal Equality.

Majority of UK voters support a ban

The decision follows a 2020 government survey that revealed overwhelming support for the ban, with 87% of respondents in favor. This strong endorsement reflects growing public awareness of animal cruelty and the factory farming industry.

Suffering during export

Before the ban, up to 1.6 million animals endured long and painful journeys from the UK each year. Crammed into trucks with little room to move, these animals suffered from hunger, dehydration, injuries, exhaustion, and mental anguish. Extreme conditions, including excessive temperatures, compounded their suffering.

Global movement on the rise

The UK now joins a global movement seeking to end live export cruelty. Recently, Brazil banned the export of live cows from all the country’s ports, while New Zealand banned the export of live cows, sheep, deer, and goats by sea for slaughter, fattening and breeding. Gradually, the world continues its shift toward a more compassionate future for animals. 

A long road to victory

Organizations such as Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) and Kent Action Against Live Exports (KAALE) have been at the forefront of this campaign. Animal Equality has supported this campaign by taking part in public actions and writing to government officials. 

An opinion piece by Animal Equality’s Executive Director in the UK, which highlighted the growing risks of live transport, was also published in The Ecologist. This article went viral, educating millions on the impact of animal transport and the need for a ban.  

Animal Equality protests in the UK demanding an end to live animal exportation

This is a great day to celebrate and one that has been awaited for a long time. For decades, animals have endured these foolish and arduous exports to the continent, but no longer! I am very proud of our supporters, whose dedication and persistence contributed to this hard-fought victory.

Philip Lymbery, CEO of Compassion in World Farming (CIWF)

The fight continues

While the UK ban is a historic step for farmed animals, it is expected to face opposition from the factory farming industry and some political sectors. Animal advocates have pledged to monitor the situation and ensure the ban is implemented effectively. 

Animal Equality protests in 2024 at Puerta del Sol demanding an end to live animal exportation

Are you ready to take a pledge for animals? Reducing the demand for animal products is the best way to support this international community of advocates. Join millions around the world who have begun their plant-based journey, protecting animals from suffering at every meal. Love Veg has prepared a digital cookbook for its subscribers, providing beginners with the necessary tools to begin their plant-based journeys. 

Rescued hen held by Animal Equality volunteer


With rich emotional lives and unbreakable family bonds, farmed animals deserve to be protected.

You can build a kinder world by replacing animal food products with plant‑based ones.

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