MINISTERS will begin the abolition of cruel live animal shipments tomorrow – only made possible by Brexit.
Under strict European Union Single Market rules that guarantee free movement of goods, no member state can ban animals being transported across borders alive.
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But with Britain finally cutting ties with Brussels in 39 days time, the controversial process will be outlawed to the delight of campaigners.
Boris Johnson has repeatedly vowed to use the “the opportunity of Brexit” to “champion animal welfare” and will unveil plans for new legislation on Thursday.
A No10 source said: “The PM has always been a passionate supporter of animal welfare, and as part of his plans to build back better and fairer, he is determined to make sure that the UK continues its proud tradition of protecting animals.
“Free from EU red tape, we can now do away with the cruel practice of exporting live animals for slaughter and fattening – setting an example to other countries with our world-leading standards.” Yesterday talks between the EU and the UK over a post-Brexit trade deal continued.
Although there is hope of a breakthrough this week, some fear the process may drag into next week because proud Brussels want the key moment “to happen on their turf”.
Negotiators are holed up in a secret final haggle in London until Friday, but UK sources believe the EU could stall on giving a final deal the nod back in Brussels early next week.
In 2018 Mr Johnson hit out: “I cannot believe that this barbaric trade is still going on — but it is. Every year this country sends thousands of live calves overseas for slaughter, and some of them are enduring nightmare journeys as far as North Africa.
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“They are jammed together in the dark. They are terrified. They slip and slide in their own excrement as the boats buck in the swell.”
Then a backbencher, he added: “They travel for more than 100 hours in conditions of such extreme discomfort that campaigners have been protesting for decades.
“The animals know they are going to die — and they are going to die far from home.”
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