We Brits pride ourselves on being a nation of animal lovers and, as Joanna Lumley says in this video, “people hate to see animals suffering.” But often we are just not aware of how animals are treated and what we can do about it.
This is why Joanna is speaking up against the cruel practise of transporting UK animals live over hundreds or thousands of miles, to be fattened or slaughtered outside this country. This might sound like a bizarre practise, because common sense tells us that animals should be fattened and slaughtered as near as possible to home, but unfortunately it’s now common to transport live calves, cattle, sheep, pigs, goats and horses around the world by road, rail, sea or air. In Europe, around six million farm animals are transported across different countries with some journeys taking three days or more.
Live animal transportation happens because supermarkets and big companies making meat products demand ever-cheaper meat in ever-bigger quantities. This puts enormous pressure on farmers and producers to find ways to raise and process the animals and still make a fair living out of it themselves. Transporting animals in large quantities to big slaughter houses or factory farms simply saves money… It’s part of a system that puts profit before quality and doing what’s right and there are many knock-on costs to people and the environment, but of course it’s the animals themselves that bear the biggest brunt of the hidden cost.
As Compassion in World Farming explains, “Long distance transport causes enormous suffering” from overcrowding, exhaustion, dehydration, pain and stress. “The greater the distance, the greater the suffering.”
Right now, British animals are being exported through the port of Ramsgate in Kent and Compassion in World Farming is helping to end this trade, with Joanna’s help.
Everyone who eats meat can make conditions better for farmed animals. As Joanna says, it starts with thinking for a minute about those little furry faces in the transport trucks. It’s about supporting the work of people like CIWF, paying a fair price for meat and eating better quality meat a bit less often. Our voices count and our choices count! – and that’s why Think Welfare is one of hiSbe‘s 8 Everyday Choices.
Many thanks to our friends at Compassion In World Farming for these photos