Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Why wait?

The government has announced that it will ban the export of livestock by sea. Huzzah! A vile, cruel and unconscionable trade will be ended! But there's a catch: the ban won't kick in until 2023, giving farmers two ful years to continue to profit from extreme animal cruelty.

But why wait? This ban doesn't require legislation. The export of live animals for slaughter is already banned under the Animal Welfare (Export of Livestock for Slaughter) Regulations 2016 (which extended a ban which had been in place since 2008), and this regulation could simply be extended. The enabling clause in the Animal welfare Act makes it very clear that export regulations "may prohibit, either absolutely or conditionally, any specified type of exportation of animals", so there's no question of legality. There is a consultation requirement, but that doesn't take two years, and neither does drafting and passing a regulation. So again, why wait? Its hard to see this as anything other than deliberate foot-dragging by a government that still wants to pander to a particularly cruel and vicious industry.