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Home > News > NPA highlights live breeding pig export stalemate, as live export Bill enters Parliament

NPA highlights live breeding pig export stalemate, as live export Bill enters Parliament

7th Dec 2023 / By Alistair Driver

New legislation putting an end to the export of live animals for slaughter and fattening from Great Britain was introduced in Parliament on Monday. 

lorry2The Animal Welfare (Livestock Exports) Bill bans the export of live animals, including cattle, sheep, and pigs.

Defra said this legislation will ‘stop animals enduring unnecessary stress, exhaustion and injury on long journeys’.

"The Bill will ensure that animals are slaughtered domestically in high welfare UK slaughterhouses, reinforcing our position as a world leader on animal welfare, boosting the value of British meat and helping to grow the economy," it said.

In practice, the Bill will have minimal impact on the pig sector as pigs are not exported for slaughter from the UK.

Live exports in other specific circumstances, for example, for breeding and competitions, will still be allowed provided animals are transported in line with legal requirements aimed at protecting their welfare. 

The NPA has highlighted that, however, that while live exports for breeding are still permitted, new requirements that have applied since we left the EU have stifled this trade. 

NPA chief policy adviser Charlie Dewhirst said: "The important trade in live exports of our high quality breeding stock is still permitted.

"However, this has been on hold since Brexit due to the new requirement for Border Control Posts (BCPs) at points of entry on the EU side of the Channel. Ports that we export to have not yet invested in these BCPs.

"While the UK Government is not responsible for BCPs in the EU, we encourage Defra to do more to encourage our European neighbours to build the necessary infrastructure. We continue to work behind the scenes to try and find solutions to this problem."

Defra Secretary Steve Barclay said: “We have some of the highest animal welfare standards in the world.

“This Bill makes use of post-Brexit freedoms to strengthen these standards by preventing the export of live animals for slaughter and fattening, which we know causes animals unnecessary stress and injury."