Victory! Brazil Bans The Live Export Of Cows; Historic Ruling Recognizes That Animals Are Sentient Beings

In a historic ruling last week, Brazil became the latest country to ban the export of live cows due to animal welfare concerns. The decision follows a 2017 lawsuit filed by Brazilian nonprofit National Forum for the Protection and Defense of Animals to put an end to the horrific practice of live exports.

“After a long procedural process, a historic sentence for the rights of animals was handed down, in which the suffering caused to animals is recognized, in an activity similar to human trafficking in the era of slavery,” noted a statement released by the organization on its website. “In the sentence, the judge recognizes the dignity of animals and understands that such activity is cruel and cannot be justified or tolerated under the auspices of possible commercial damage.”

“Animals are not things. They are sentient beings, that is, individuals who feel hunger, thirst, pain, cold, anguish and fear,” stated Federal Judge Djalma Gomes in her verdict, which is open to appeal.

Laerte Fernando Levai of The National Forum for Protection and Defense appreciated the ruling’s recognition of animals as sentient living beings “with fundamental rights and dignity.”

Brazil was reportedly the fifth-largest exporter of live cattle in the world, with major markets in Iraq, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, Brazil exported an estimated 150,000 cows last year alone.

As previously reported by WAN, a critical bill in New Zealand banning the live export of animals overseas went into effect on April 30th.

Following a review into New Zealand’s live export sector in 2021, the decision was made to cease live export by sea over a two-year transition period. That decision came two years after a live export disaster that claimed the lives of 6,000 cows and 41 crew members after a vessel that left New Zealand, headed for China, subsequently capsized off the coast of Japan. 

WAN is hopeful that more countries will ban the live export of animals overseas.

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

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