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Animal Welfare (Livestock Exports) Bill debated in the Lords

22 February 2024

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Members of the House of Lords discussed the primary purpose and key principles of the Animal Welfare (Livestock Exports) Bill during second reading on Wednesday 21 February.

The Animal Welfare (Livestock Exports) Bill seeks to end the export of certain animals for fattening and slaughter from and through England, Wales and Scotland.

Debate on the draft law 

During second reading, members discuss the main issues and topics in the bill and highlight concerns or specific areas where they think amendments (changes) will be needed. 

Subjects under discussion included:

  • financial support for farmers
  • animal welfare
  • distances travelled by animals for slaughter across the UK
  • applying similar legislation to Northern Ireland.

Members speaking

Contributing members included: 

Baroness Young said:

'There is widespread support for this provision...Live exports see animals crowded into vehicles—often the first time they are away from their mothers—on long, stressful journeys, causing them to suffer from exhaustion, dehydration and even death.'

Lord Douglas-Miller (Conservative), Minister for Biosecurity, Animal Health and Welfare, responded on behalf of the government:

'The bill will ban the export of cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and horses for slaughter and fattening from Great Britain, stopping the unnecessary stress, exhaustion and injury caused by this trade.'

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Watch and read the debate

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Next steps

Committee stage, a chance to closely scrutinise elements of the bill and make changes, is scheduled to begin on Thursday 14 March.

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