I understand the strength of feeling about this issue and believe animals should be slaughtered locally wherever possible. However, under European Union single market rules it is illegal to ban the export of animals to other EU countries; there are instead EU and UK laws to protect the welfare of live animals during transport. Amending the 1847 Ports and Harbours Act could not effectively circumvent this.
While the UK negotiates its exit from the European Union, it will remain a member and will continue to exercise the rights and obligations that come with membership. The UK’s involvement in EU rules on animal welfare and trade will likely form part of exit negotiations, with future policy in this area considered by the Government in the context of these talks.
I have been assured that the Government will continue to pursue a more sustainable approach to the transport of livestock on long journeys. It has already called on the EU Commission to update the rules on welfare during transport where there is sufficient scientific evidence to support a change.