World-wide animal welfare campaign launched

Animal welfare campaigners have teamed up to launch a global initiative aimed at ending the long distance transport of livestock for slaughter.

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The Handle with Care campaign, which was unveiled on Tuesday (12 February), is backed by 11 organisations from the UK, Scandanavia, Australia and the USA.

The organisations which include UK-based charities RSPCA and Compassion In World Farming claim that animals being moved long distances across the world are often transported in overcrowded conditions, with a lack of water, food and rest.

Long distance livestock transport was unnecessary and should be replaced with trade in meat, said a CIWF spokesman.

“It not only inflicts serious welfare problems on animals but also risks spreading infectious diseases such as foot-and-mouth over long distances.”

More than 30,000 sheep die each year during three week journeys from Australia to the Middle East, according to CIWF figures.

Other routes highlighted by campaigners involve the transportation of cattle from Brazil to Lebanon, horses from Spain to Italy and pigs from Canada to Hawaii.

But the group also wants an end to the long distance transportation of calves, cattle, sheep and pigs across Europe.

It claims that 6m animals are transported across the continent each year on journeys which can take as long as 70 hours.