In a huge step forward in global animal welfare, Great Britain has officially banned the export of live animals for slaughter or for fattening before slaughter.

The Animal Welfare (Livestock Exports) Act became law after receiving Royal Assent — and protects cows, pigs, sheep, horses, and goats from live export. Prior to the law, millions of sheep, cows, and other animals endured gruesome transportation of hundreds, or even thousands, of miles out of Great Britain each year.

Animals exported for slaughter are often crowded on trucks or ships where they are subjected to inherently inhumane conditions. Trapped for days or weeks in their own excrement, they may suffer injuries or illness. Extreme heat, hunger, dehydration, and exhaustion are common. Not all of the animals survive the brutal, frightening journeys.

Great Britain’s ban on live exports will spare millions of innocent animals from this cruelty each year.

Great Britain is not the only country to take steps to ban the brutality: New Zealand took steps to ban live exports last year following a disaster at sea that claimed the lives of thousands of animals. Australia is also set to ban the cruel live export of sheep by sea by 2028.

Transportation of live animals is just one of many hidden ways farmed animals suffer when they are raised for consumption — it is also completely unnecessary.

Lady Freethinker has long advocated for an end to live exports. Cows, sheep, pigs, and other farmed animals are sentient beings capable of feeling fear, stress, and other emotions. They deserve better than to suffer the injuries and stress common in live transport.

Great Britain’s ban is great progress for farmed animal welfare. Lady Freethinker welcomes this news and encourages other countries — including the United States — to follow Great Britain’s lead.