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Joanna Lumley Wants to End Long-Distance Livestock Transport

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Actress and animal advocate Joanna Lumley has spoken out against New York’s horse carriage industry and pledged to have a humane holiday. Now, she’s campaigning for an end to the cruel long-distance transport of livestock.

Lumley has helped Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) launch their campaign against the long-distance transports throughout Europe. According to The Guardian, in the past year, the number of sheep and calves being exported alive increased significantly, despite a decrease since the 1990s. The number went from approximately 25,400 in 2010 to 80,000 last year, with pigs and goats bringing the total to around 80,600. Lumley says, “We don’t have to illustrate how simply ghastly this trade is…our eye has been taken off the ball. This year, 2012, is the year of powerful change … we can do it. We can make it happen.”

CIWF is campaigning for an 8-hour limit on all transport trips in the European Union. “Eight hours is a long time. Nevertheless we know some of Britain’s animals over the last year have gone as far as Spain on journeys of up to two days, so eight hours would be a huge step forward,” said CIWF chief executive Philip Lymbery. Meanwhile, the National Farmers Union is claiming that the trips over 8 hours are in the minority and transports across Europe are “legitimate and lawful” if the animals are cared for. “We believe the current regulations are based on sound science and when enforced do not compromise animal welfare,” said Peter Garbutt, chief livestock adviser.

Animal welfare organizations are saying that their investigations have shown a very different picture. “It is far too easy for us to find cases of animals suffering in the live export trade, and common sense tells you that taking a couple of tiny calves to Spain isn’t going to do them any good,” said Lymbery. Lumley adds, “Let’s make people pay the cost of farming.”

Councillor Ian Driver has also started a petition to the Department for Transport to amend the law to restrict live animal exports out of the UK to an 8-hour maximum.

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