Live Animal Exports and the Agriculture Bill

The Brexit campaign promised an end to live exports and we must amend the Government’s Agriculture Bill to force them to deliver.

My Lords, I congratulate the noble Baronesses, Lady Hodgson of Abinger and Lady Fookes, on tabling these amendments. I assure the noble Baroness, Lady Fookes, that she still thinks like a spring chicken, which is very admirable. I would support these amendments much more strongly if I did not absolutely abhor the whole concept of live animal exports. That we still do this absolutely sickens me, and it is way over time to stop this in its tracks and simply accept that it is inhumane.

However, one thing that annoys me, as somebody who voted for Brexit, is that this was one of the common examples we were given of what could be achieved outside the EU—the banning of live animal exports. These were the sort of promises made to people like me, compassionate Eurosceptics who wanted the freedom to create a better country. We certainly have not done that. Unfortunately, like most of the nice promises made by the Brexit campaign, restricting live animal exports seems to have gone in the bin in favour of the nasty stuff, like restricting immigration. We listen to the racists and we do not listen to the people who care about animals.

Your Lordships’ House really ought to think very hard about these ideas. I was swayed by the points of the noble Lord, Lord Palmer of Childs Hill, on Amendment 71, but I do support Amendments 72 and 73 because they would make huge leaps forward in animal welfare, and end the needless suffering of long, stressful and painful journeys to slaughter. This is one of the many things that people voted for in supporting Brexit. It is the will of the people and should be delivered.