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The BBC's Robert Hall
"Live exports have provoked angry protests"
 real 28k

Wednesday, 19 April, 2000, 19:01 GMT 20:01 UK
Animal export 'video nasty'
Joanna Lumley
Joanna Lumley: Animals suffer enormous stress and cruelty
Actress Joanna Lumley has joined campaigners at Westminster calling for a ban on live animal exports.

They showed 80 MPs a video secretly filmed by the group Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) which had evidence of cruelty to livestock being transported to slaughterhouses on mainland Europe.

The film, the result of 18 months of undercover investigations, revealed regular flouting of transport laws.


Sheep
The video claims sheep were left in a truck for 48 hours
CIWF says a lorry load of sheep may typically be transported from Wales to Italy, a trip of about 65 hours, with only one stop for food and rest.

"There is no way of transporting creatures for 60, 80 or 100 hours without them suffering enormous stress and cruelty being involved," said Ms Lumley, star of hit shows like The New Avengers and Absolutely Fabulous.

Labour MP Gwyn Prosser joined Ms Lumley in calling for a complete ban on the export of live animals.

"Animals are being exported in the cruellest of conditions," he said.

But many farmers dispute the CIWF's claims.

"There are journey plans before these animals leave this country and they have to be signed off by the ministry," said farmer Terry Bayliss. "I don't accept that animals go on journeys of that duration."

Ministry of Agriculture figures show that more than 1.1m lambs and sheep were sent abroad for slaughter in 1999, which means the trade has more than doubled in just two years.

Ms Lumley provided the voice-over for the video which includes images of lambs having their throats slit while fully conscious and weeping investigators cradling dead or dying animals which had been crushed in overcrowded trucks.

"There's a perfect solution - raise the animals and slaughter them where they are reared," she said.

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See also:

08 Apr 99 | UK Politics
New rules on live exports
09 Feb 99 | UK Politics
MP seeks live export ban
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