In a much-needed move, a federal court has banned the live export of cows from Brazil.

Cows are intelligent and emotionally-attuned animals who suffer horrifically when packed into ships for arduous journeys under highly stressful conditions.  

In her ruling, Federal Judge Djalma Gomes acknowledged cows’ sentience.

“Animals are not things,” Gomes ruled. “They are sentient beings, that is, individuals who feel hunger, thirst, pain, cold, anguish, fear.”

The ruling follows a 2017 lawsuit from Brazilian nonprofit National Forum for the Protection and Defense of Animals, which sought an end to the live exports.

Cows and other animals exploited during live exports have been documented to typically endure appalling conditions. They’re packed at high density and can suffer from lameness, infectious disease, heat stress, and even death on the treks — and they often face cruel handling or slaughter once they land at their destination.

Brazil’s agriculture minister has not yet said whether he plans to appeal the decision — but in a hopeful note, he reportedly told news that court orders should be followed.

We’re grateful that Brazil has joined New Zealand in recognizing the cruelty of these unnecessary sea voyages. If you haven’t already, please sign our petition urging the European Union to ban all live exports of animals. And remember that you can always help all animals by choosing kind, plant-based alternatives!

SIGN: End Cruel and Illegal EU Live Animal Exports