Hundreds march against live animal exports
Hundreds of people have marched through the streets of Ramsgate to protest against the town's port being used for live animal exports on a weekend of global action against the trade.
Saturday morning's rain did not stop a crowd of more than 300 people assembling in Ellington Park, from where the marchers set off at midday.
Ramsgate residents were joined by Kent residents and by Compassion in World Farming supporters from further afield to highlight the cruel nature of this unnecessary trade.
Joyce D'Silva, Director of Public Affairs at Compassion in World Farming, spoke to the marchers from a bandstand overlooking the port at the rally. She said: "It was great to see so many people join the demonstration of local outrage and opposition to this inherently cruel trade.
"The long distance trade in animals is, sadly, a global phenomenon. But there is a global movement calling for an end to these horrendous journeys: just a few hours after the Ramsgate march there were two demonstrations against this trade in Australia addressed by my Compassion colleague Peter Stevenson."
Joyce said: "The protestors in Ramsgate are part of this growing global call for all animals to be treated with compassion and respect and for an end to live exports."
The high turnout at the protest in Ramsgate reflects the strength of feeling against live exports and is echoed in the more than 43,000 emails that have been sent to MPs, MEPs and Councillors in the last two months.
Compassion has evidence of calves being transported from Cockermouth to Spain, a journey likely to take more than two days.
Thanet District Council, which owns the port, last week wrote to the government, expressing its opposition to it being used for live exports (the council is powerless to stop it as the port is legally bound to accept the trade) and calling for an eight hour limit to all live animal transport journeys.
The rally is the latest in a series of events that has seen the campaign against live exports reignite in the last few months.
The campaign continues
Through its One Way Ticket campaign Compassion in World Farming is at the heart of efforts to stop live exports. The charity is urging people to write to their MP, MEP and councillors to raise awareness of the more than 14,000 animals that have already been exported through Kent ports since December last year.
Despite the protests, there were more sailings of live animals from Ramsgate this weekend.