Protesters demanded an end to live exports from the UK today at a rally outside the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, in London.
Representatives from the RSPCA and Compassion in World Farming also called for ministers, in the short term, to refuse to license live transports until the laws on journey times and port facilities are enforced.
Joined by a bus full of "live animals", protesters called for an end to live exports before the two animal welfare organisations delivered a petition and a report to Defra.
To Compassion's knowledge, there are currently no live exports for the meat trade from Britain, following the decision of Thanet District Council on 13th September to suspend exports from Ramsgate port after 46 sheep died at the quayside.
Associated British Ports, which runs Ipswich port, has said there are no further plans for exports from there either, after it allowed one shipment of sheep following the Ramsgate suspension.
Dil Peeling, Director of Public Affairs at Compassion in World Farming, said: "David Heath has a window of opportunity here to stop live exports from this country for good. If small local authorities have the guts to take a stand, why not the UK government? There is massive public opposition to the trade and these are the last drops of what was a torrent in the early to mid-nineties.
"There is an overwhelming moral and scientific argument against long distance transport of live animals. We have seen young calves being taken from Cumbria to Spain. It's madness to think that as long as the rules are followed this is acceptable. It is not. Live exports mean animals suffer."
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