Live exports update

14 February 2014

Live exports company brought to justice

In 2012, over 40 sheep died when a lorry carrying sheep destined for slaughter on the continent was stopped due to faults with the vehicle. The animals were unloaded. Two sheep, one with a broken leg, were put down. Another 41 severely lame sheep have been or were due to be euthanized. Six sheep fell into water after they were loaded into an area where the floor collapsed. Four were rescued by RSPCA officers but two drowned.

Finally, on the 13th February, 2014 some justice has been served.

The exporter involved in this case has been ordered to pay £19,000 in total and been given a six month suspended prison sentence.

Emma Slawinski, Compassion in World Farming's Head of Campaigns and Advocacy, says:

We finally received an outcome on the court case involving the death of more than 40 sheep in 2012. Thomas Lomas, a director of the animal export company involved on this occasion, pleaded guilty to two charges of causing unnecessary suffering to animals.

Are we glad that the correct people have been held responsible? Of course. Is it enough? Not in my opinion, no. But it's a start. It's not a victory, but justice has, in some way, been served.

The real justice will occur when this barbaric and unnecessary trade is brought to an end.

David Bowles, Head of External Affairs at the RSPCA said:

We believe it is absolutely right that the buck stops with the very people who are making money out of this misery.

Appalling conditions discovered on Irish government approved livestock ship

In a separate live export issue, Compassion is seriously concerned over the suitability of a vessel, the Express 1, approved by the Irish Department of Agriculture to carry livestock.

It has been detained in Fowey, Cornwall (UK) after experiencing an engine failure for the second time in recent months and appalling conditions have been discovered on board. Although the ship is not currently carrying animals, in our opinion, it is not fit to transport animals.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency raised concerns over the training of the staff in case of an emergency, the fire detection systems and a lack of basic facilities for the crew.

Compassion is concerned that if basic safety procedures are lacking, the crew would be unable to ensure the welfare of potentially thousands of animals on board in an emergency. This is on top of the engine failures that would leave the ship stranded if repeated.

Emma Slawinski, says:

The conditions on board the Express 1 are truly shocking. This ship, which is endorsed by the Department of Agriculture, has been found to have several safety issues.

She adds:

I'm urging the Department of Agriculture to revoke this vessel's approval to carry livestock from Irish ports with immediate effect or risk a situation where many Irish animals will suffer.

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