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Judicial Review Case File

The legal battle against British live calf exports rages on – and we must maintain momentum to deliver justice for calves.

As you may know, Compassion’s Judicial Review of the appalling trade in unweaned calves from Britain to the Continent is set to be heard in court in the autumn.

Thousands of compassionate people have already lobbied the Scottish Government to drop its opposition to the case. Following those emails, it has indicated it may consider reviewing its live exports policy.

But the Scottish Government is still fighting us in court – and Defra, acting on behalf of the UK Government, is backing them. Given that UK decision makers have repeatedly pledged to end live exports for fattening and slaughter, this is a bitter betrayal.

Please, help end this hypocrisy: urge the UK Government to drop its legal defence of cruel calf exports.

Take action

Please email George Eustice, Defra Secretary of State. Urge him to end his department’s defence of live exports. You will be able to review and edit your email on the next page before sending.

THE CASE: journeys over eight hours for unweaned calves are not permitted unless, after nine hours of travel, they receive a one-hour break for rest, water and, “if necessary”, food. In practice, the calves can only be fed when unloaded at an appropriate facility. For calves exported from Scotland, the first time this happens is in Northern France – which means they can go up to 23 hours without food.

THE AIM: a court ruling that these journeys are unlawful, because the legal requirement for food during travel isn’t being met.

IF WE WIN: British live calf exports could not continue in their current form, which could spare thousands of unweaned calves every year from unnecessary suffering. Plus, since UK and EU legislation on live transport are identical, the case could trigger action across Europe.


Boris Johnson quote we can ban live exports of animals

- Boris Johnson, 6th December 2019

In 2019, the UK Government repeatedly supported a post-Brexit live exports ban:

  • The Government’s legislative agenda showed support for “ending excessively long journeys…for slaughter or fattening”.
  • The Conservative Party Manifesto supported “abolishing the cruel live shipment of animals”.
  • In the election debates, Boris Johnson stated, “we can… ban the live export of animals”.
  • At the Conservative Party conference, Defra announced the Government would bring forward “proposals for consideration on…ending live exports”.

How dare it now take such a shameful U-turn and use taxpayer’s money to defend live exports in court?

Please, email George Eustice, Defra Secretary of State. Urge him to drop his department’s legal defence of live exports and deliver calves the justice they deserve.

If you haven’t already done so, please also lobby the Scottish Government to drop its opposition to our case.

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