Uk (England): Live Animals Attempted to be Exported From the Uk as ‘Boxed Meat’

Uk animal welfare campaigners have finally witnessed great results in their attempts to stop LIVE ANIMAL EXPORTS from leaving Uk shores.

The year 2009 has seen very little in live exports taking place; after years of campaigners gradually closing down Eastern and Southern English ports by way of some excellent campaigns.  2009 has been the first year in over 20 when several months at a time have passed without any live animals being exported from the Uk to mainland Europe for either immediate slaughter or further fattening.

Whenever there has been news of pending new ferry services to carry live animals from English ports, campaigners across the entire country have rallied together and formed a united front of opposition.  In just the last couple of months, campaigns against the live animal trade has seen the ports of Felixstowe and Portsmouth targetted with demonstrations, supoported by meetings with officials and demonstartions often attended by supportive Members of Parliament (MP).

As a last and desperate attempt to continue getting live animals to Europe, hauliers and exporters have even attempted to take live animals out of English ports such as Dover  and Ramsgate  by trying to declare the consignment as ‘boxed meat’.

Fortunately, alert ferry workers and port officials were able to detect these illegal shipments; primarilty by the smell the was coming from the vehicles !

When they have been detected, trucks have been prevented from continuing their journey and all animals handed over to the Uk Ministry Deafra and its sub department ‘Animal Health’.

It is thought that recent attempts have been made in order to try and smuggle live sheep to Europe in preparation for the Al Adha Eid festival taking place over the weekend of 28 / 29 November.

All attempts to export animals recently have failed, and now things have moved on with Trading Standards from the English county of Kent    now launching investigations into the consignments.  Trading Standards  have the power to prosecute those involved through the judicial system, and welfare campaigners are eagerly awaiting the investigation report being produced by TS officials.

As the haulier involved with this illegal shipping of live animals is Dutch and operates from the Netherlands, Uk anit-export groups such as Kent Against Live Exports (KALE) have been working with Dutch animal transport investigators at ‘Eyes on Animals’ to ensure that good information flow of news is maintained and that national pressure can be put on both Uk and Dutch government authorities associated with animal transport regulations.

KALE are now awaiting the investigation report by Kent Trading Standards prior to deciding what further action needs to be undertaken.

KALE EU Correspondent and ‘Serbian Animals Voice’ founder Mark Johnson who has worked on live animal export investigations for 20 years now, has stated that

“KALE and ‘Eyes on Animals’ will do whatever it possibly can to get those involved with these illegal shipments known to the public as well as cross-Channel ferry operators.  KALE has experience of taking over 18 fromal complaints to the EU Legal Affairs team based in Brussels during the last two years, and we have no hesitation to take this case to EU legal affairs also if the Uk and Dutch competent authorities do not act over this, what is effectively animal smuggling”. 

“Transporting live animals across european borders without having Uk pre-shipment health checks on the animals is a massive biosecurity issue for every european country that these animals could potentially (and secretly) be shipped through”.

“If animals were carrying any disease and were also being transported whilst being declared as ‘boxed meat’, then livestock throughout France, Belgium and the Netherlands could be infected as a result”.

This is an issue which goes way beyond the illegal shipment of live animals. 

The following are articles from Kent newspapers relating to the illegal shipments:

To visit the ‘Eyes on Animals’ web site, please click on

To see a 30 minute video relating to the work of Lesley and Tatjana at ‘Eyes on Animals’ which was specially made for dutch television, please click on

Note – the video is in Dutch, but very easy to follow.  It shows the situation of and conditions for livestock being transported by road across Europe.

To visit the Kent Against Live Exports web site, please click on   – for news of past actions and reports please visit

Below are a selection of pictures from the demonstrations organised at Portsmouth harbour by organisations including KALE,  CIWF   and SARC, the Southern (England) Animal Rights Coalition  

Mark Johnson says – “Whilst we currently have no live animals being exported from Uk shores, these recent attempts to smuggle live sheep to mainland Europe have made us very aware that we must never take anything for granted, especially in the live animal export business.  20 years as an anti-export campaigner and investigator has shown me that those involved in this trade will do anything they can to make money, even if it involves a lot of animal suffering.  These recent attempts have now turned another corner in the history of live animal exports, and I, KALE, Eyes on Animals and CIWF will do whatever we can to ensure that Uk live exports remain where they belong; only in history books”.

Further links to PAST live animal export protests in the Uk:


Australian Live Export Links:


Photo – Animals Angels







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