National Sheep Association welcomes live export ban

Following the royal assent of legislation ending the exports of live animals for slaughter the National Sheep Association (NSA) is welcoming completion of the ban.

NSA Chief Executive Phil Stocker said, “The export trade for live animals for further finishing or slaughter has effectively been closed since the UK’s departure from the EU due to no live animal border facilities able to process consignments. Fortunately, market conditions in the UK have been favourable without this and so we have seen little negative impact of not having exported lambs for slaughter or further finishing – and exports of British lamb/sheep meat via carcasses and cuts into the EU continue to remain strong.”

As the highest ranked G7 nation according to World Animal Protection’s Index, the government states that it is committed to high animal welfare standards and therefore the moved to end live exports for finishing or slaughter.

Mr Stocker continued, “NSA is pleased this bill has come into law, reiterating a commitment to animal welfare from government. The legislation 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 recognising the high standards British processors and producers operate to.”

The legislation delivers on a key Conservative manifesto commitment to ban the export of live animals including cattle, sheep, and pigs for further slaughter and fattening from Great Britain.

Mr Stocker added, “The ban doesn’t include breeding animals and the government is keen to promote the live export of breeding animals. NSA supports this, aiding this process – continuing taking P&O bookings for the movement of breeding animals once facilities able to take live animals on the other side of the channel can be set up.

“Due to the lack of Border Control Posts (BCP) there have been devastating impacts for our breeding animal trade. British genetics and breeding stock are highly sought after worldwide and preventing this trade through the lack of BCPs has had significant financial implications for many businesses.”

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