We are astounded to learn that live farm animal exports resume from Ramsgate, Kent today (10th March 2014).
Animals were being exported from Dover but repairs to a berth in the port mean that the trade is returning to Ramsgate.
Live exports were temporarily banned in 2012 from Ramsgate, following the death of more than 40 sheep. A lorry carrying sheep destined for slaughter on the continent was stopped due to faults with the vehicle. The animals were unloaded and two sheep, one with a broken leg, were put down.
Another 41 severely lame sheep also had 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. We were sure that this incident alone would show how unfit Ramsgate was for the live export trade.
The exporter involved in this case has been ordered to pay £19,000 and been given a six month suspended prison sentence.
Following the 2012 incident, Thanet District Council temporarily banned live exports from the port. Unfortunately the High Court ruled the Council did not have the authority to stop live exports.
Dil Peeling, Compassion's Director of Campaigns, says: "It is incredible that, despite the recent court case which highlighted the lack of emergency unloading facilities at Ramsgate, the trade can resume."
"Ramsgate port is not fit to ensure the welfare of animals being transported. We need a change in the law so that individual port authorities are free to make the decision not to take live exports."