More than 100 people came to Dover Town Hall on Friday, 7th June, to listen to speakers including Compassion's Director of Campaigns Dil Peeling speak against live export of animals from the UK for fattening or slaughter abroad.
Dil shared the platform with the RSPCA's Chief Executive Gavin Grant, MP for Dover and Deal Charlie Elphicke, Ian Birchall from the campaigns group Kent Action Against Live Exports (KAALE) and Green MEP for the South East Keith Taylor.
The event, which was chaired by Richard Llewellin from the Anglican Society for the Welfare of Animals, was another example of the strength of feeling against live exports from the UK.
Compassion joined with other contributors in calling for the RSPCA's inspectors to be allowed port-side when live fattening or slaughter animals are taken through the port in order to help safeguard their welfare.
Dil said: "Live exports not only represent a nightmare for the animals involved but a headache for the few farmers who still participate in the trade. The Federation of Veterinarians of Europe has made its opposition to the long distance transport of live animals for slaughter clear and the mainstream ferry companies won't accept the trade for slaughter.
"Our research suggests that 66% of the British public would prefer British farm animals to be slaughtered in the UK and exported as meat, with just 6% thinking they should be exported live. So those involved in the live export trade are becoming increasingly isolated.
"On the one hand it's encouraging to hear Defra minister David Heath say in parliament that he wants to see the live trade across the channel end but he's failed to follow that with effective action.
"We're encouraging people to write to Defra and call on the government to work with the industry to end the trade and we would encourage consumers in this country who eat lamb to buy British, to support those farmers who do not export their sheep."