King Charles has just announced a bill that could officially ban the live export of animals for fattening or slaughter from the United Kingdom (UK).

If passed, the Animal Welfare [Livestock Exports] Bill would ban the export of cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and horses for slaughter from England, although the UK Government has also announced plans to work with administrations in Scotland and Wales. The announcement is possible because of Brexit, which allows the UK to deviate from European Union rules.

Each year millions of cows, pigs, birds, and sheep are exported from the European Union (EU) to non-EU countries, according to World Animal News. The animals often suffer from serious injury, stress, and exhaustion on the grueling journeys, and there have been numerous fatal accidents during transportation —  including 1,600 young bulls on the transport ship Elbeik who were killed in Spain, 900 bulls on the transport vessel Karim Allah who also were killed, and 14 sheep killed off the Italian coast during bad weather conditions, according to World Animal News.

“Exporting live animals is utterly unnecessary,” said Dame Joanna Lumley, an actress and advocate who has long opposed the live exports. “They suffer enormous stress, exhaustion, dehydration, and overcrowding.”

Activists throughout the UK called for the end to this gruesome practice for years, according to the Independent.

Lady Freethinker applauds King Charles and the UK government for advancing this life-changing bill and urges Parliament to pass this legislation quickly. Please ask the EU to take action to end live animal exports by signing our petition here. To read about another monumental animal rights bill, check out South Korea’s new legislation to end the dog meat industry nationwide.