Saturday, 18 May 2024

The Export of Live Animals – A personal view

THE NATIONAL LIBERAL PARTY is very proud of its ideological roots. Our combination of Progressive Nationalism (sometimes called ‘Green Nationalism’) and Liberalism means that we are totally unique.

The NLPs fusion of nationalism and liberalism means that we give equal weight to ‘national questions’ (concerning all of the nations and peoples of the British Isles and in principle, beyond) as we do to ‘liberal questions’ concerning the individual and freedom.

Thus our ideology drives our principles. And it is from our principles that we produce our policy. But how do we produce these policies?

The many problems faced by Britain – racial, economic and social – are not going to be solved by screaming and shouting. Thus, the NLP is not interested in posturing and gesture politics. These problems will only be overcome by a combination of careful thought and action.

This means that we favour informed and reasoned debate. Here we concentrate on arguments, points of view and facts. We are not interested in personalities, prejudice or promoting self-interest.

Our ideal is to create a well-informed movement. To do this, we also attempt to take into consideration as many views as is possible in open debate. Thus, NLP members and supporters are always encouraged to have their say.

With this in mind, Kent-based John Botting gives his personal view on the live export of animals. Please feel free to e-mail any comments you may have on his article to

Additionally, you may also wish to read his article in conjunction with this one on a related subject:

The Export of Live Animals – A personal view

EVER SINCE I was a youngster I have always taken an interest in animal welfare. I remember being at school and feeling very angry at the Beagles being made to smoke cigarettes. I was shocked at seeing the pictures in the newspapers and I signed a petition to stop it. Later on I became aware of Revlon doing tests on rabbits where they kept their eyes open and put cosmetics into them. They were called Draize tests. Again, I was angered by this and because I was now older, I decided to do something about it.

I joined a protest in Maidstone, handing out leaflets to shoppers (going into Boots and House of Frazer) telling them to boycott the stores for selling Revlon products that were draize tested. To this day, that was the only protest I had ever been on.

Recently I have become aware of the issue surrounding live exports of animals through Kent ports. It has been on the local TV & Radio news and also in the Kent papers. This is due to demonstrations taking place at the ports of Dover and recently Ramsgate, where exports have been moved to.

My understanding about this whole situation is that the calves and sheep are being transported for very long journeys, in cramped conditions and putting unnecessary stress and causing distress to these animals prior to being slaughtered. They are usually being transported to slaughterhouses in countries that are not as strictly controlled as ours are. And that is the issue as far as I am concerned.

What is the point of this whole journey? It makes no sense to me to transport these animals live. Surely it is better to transport them to an abattoir in this country, where we know the animals will be subject to being treated well prior to slaughter. But instead, we load them up onto these lorries and drive them for hours from locations in the UK to Kent. Then they get loaded up onto a ferry still in these containers and go across the channel. And then have another long journey onto the foreign abattoir where they are then slaughtered in a facility that may well fall short of the standards employed in this country. It is utter madness.

I think that National Liberals should be concerned about this for two main reasons:

Firstly as ecologists we should oppose the needless extra journeys required to transport these live animals to Kent. To me this is a ludicrous situation. Surely slaughtered carcasses would require less transport?

Secondly, we oppose ritual slaughter. However, in my opinion, we should also oppose all forms of animal cruelty. It’s just wrong no matter what form it takes. The export of live animals is just so unnecessary and puts real stress on the animals being transported. We are able to slaughter animals in this country without any problems, so why are we allowing this disgusting trade to continue?

John Botting

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