A Kent council opposed to live animal exports from Ramsgate is pressing the government to back an EU movement which could see the end of live exports from the UK.
Thanet District Council last night unanimously passed a resolution calling for the government to push the EU for an eight hour limit on all live animal journeys in the union. This would effectively make it uneconomic to continue the vast majority of live exports from this country.
Michèle Danan, Head of Public Affairs at Compassion in World Farming, says: "This unanimous vote shows the strength of public feeling against live exports in the port towns that these poor animals are taken through. Thanet District Council is showing there is the political will to challenge long arduous journeys for UK animals too.
"We're delighted a district council has stood up for its voters' wishes and we see this as another step towards ending this inhumane trade."
One Way Ticket
A short, finite limit on journey times would prevent exhaustion and stress for millions of farm animals across the EU.
EU law is currently failing farm animals and through our 'One Way Ticket' campaign Compassion is calling for support to help change this.
Many of the animals exported are reared in conditions that are illegal in the UK and some may not even make it to their destination alive. Animals such as calves, wrenched prematurely from their mothers, and sheep are kept in cramped conditions, often with little access to water. Some die due to the rigours of the journey.
One journey log, obtained by Compassion under the Freedom of Information Act, showed 134 unweaned calves had been taken from their mothers and transported from Cockermouth to Spain, a journey of approximately 22 hours.
Archaic Act, Victorian legislation
As well as the eight hour limit, Compassion wants to see an exception to the 1847 Ports and Harbours Act, which forces ports to take any legal trade.
Michèle adds: "This is an archaic trade being enforced using Victorian legislation. The British people don't want it and the people of Ramsgate don't want it.
"The port doesn't want to be part of it but they are rendered powerless to stop it by the 1847 Ports and Harbours Act."
Compassion believes that farm animals should be reared and slaughtered as close as possible to the farm where they are born. We're asking people to join our 'One Way Ticket Campaign' to end this inhumane trade that does not belong in the 21st century.
The next stage in the fight against live exports is a march in Ramsgate on August 13th, organised by Cllr Ian Driver - the Thanet councillor who proposed the resolution voted through last night - and supported by Compassion in World Farming. It is a clear sign that the pressure to end the trade will continue.