After a new legal ruling — and if no appeal is lost — it seems that Brazil will stop the export of live cows as a consequence of a long legal process initiated in 2017 with a lawsuit filed by the Brazilian animal protection organisation National Forum for the Protection and Defense of Animals.
In a statement, the organisation said, “In 2017, the Forum filed a Public Civil Action that was processed in the 25th Federal Court of SP, where a ban on the export of live cattle in Brazil was sought. An injunction was obtained determining the suspension, but it was reformed by TRF3. After a long procedural process, a historic sentence for the rights of animals was handed down, in which the suffering caused to animals is recognised, in an activity similar to human trafficking in the era of slavery. In the sentence, the judge recognises the dignity of animals and understands that such activity is cruel and cannot be justified or tolerated under the auspices of possible commercial damage. The said sentence is still subject to appeal and we hope that TRF3 maintains it in its entirety, since it is a civilising advance in the treatment of animals.”
In her verdict on 27th April 2023 that confirms what is effectively a ban, federal Judge Djalma Gomes said, “Animals are not things. They are sentient beings, that is, individuals who feel hunger, thirst, pain, cold, anguish, and fear.”
Brazil was the fifth largest exporter of live cattle in the world, mainly to Iraq, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. During life transport animals of any type suffer a great deal, so this news is considered a victory for the campaigners trying to ban it anywhere in the world, even if the ban can still be overturned on appeal.
Other countries have passed live export bans. In April 2021, after enormous public pressure and the heart-breaking drownings of thousands of cows at sea, the New Zealand government finally agreed to put an end to live export. However, this ban only came into effect on 30th April 2023. In 2020, the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, and several Federal States in Germany stopped the export of animals to third countries beyond the EU requiring a 24-hr stop.