Animals Are Not Freight Demonstration On Parliament Square Attracts Hundreds Of Supporters

It comes 20 years after nearly 70,000 sheep died in the Indian Ocean.

Hundreds of protesters gathered outside Parliament on Monday as part of a global day of action against long distance live animal transport.

Campaigners around the world are participating in Animals Are Not Freight protests to mark 20 years since the world’s worst live export, which saw nearly 70,000 sheep die in the Indian Ocean after the ship carrying them burst into flames and sank.

Campaigners gathered on Parliament Square between 12.30pm and 2pm today.

Demonstrators held up signs that read “Animals are not freight” and “trucking hell” as speakers called for politicians to “stop the trucks”.

A total of 28 organisations around the world are joining ranks for the day to host rallies, marches and talks - from London to Paris and Tel Aviv to Sydney.

Compassion in World Farming, who is spearheading the campaign, said that millions of animals are transported long distances in cramped conditions every year, causing horrific levels of suffering.

The animal welfare group said that many animals often die before the end of the journey, or face “cruel” slaughter methods at their destination.

Compassion in World Farming slammed the “unnecessary” trade of live animals, which could be replaced with a trade in meat.

Keith Taylor MEP, the Green Party’s Animals spokesperson said ahead of the protest: “Live exports is a barbaric industry that must be completely abolished.

“As a Member of the European Parliament, I have written to the new UK Minister for Animals, Lord Gardiner, urging him to support the Europe-wide Stop The Trucks campaign.

“The campaign will mount a fresh call from national governments to amend European regulations to stamp out this inhumane practice.”

Philip Lymbery, Compassion in World Farming’s CEO, said: “I am honoured to be uniting with so many worthy organisations to fight for farm animals on this global day of action.

“This cruel trade is outdated and has no place in today’s world.”