Just over a month ago, we welcomed news that P&O Ferries would no longer ship young Scottish calves, destined for continental Europe, across the Irish Sea. This was a significant step forward in the fight against UK live exports. However, over the past few weeks, two shipments of un-weaned calves have been exported from the port of Ramsgate, Kent, destined for Europe.
Last Thursday (8th November) we joined over 160 protesters, including members from Kent Action Against Live Exports (KAALE) and Kent Animal Save, to witness distressed calves, just a few weeks old, being exported.
Distressed Scottish calves
Around 260 young calves were seen crammed in to the three tiers of the transporter truck, which had made the long journey down from Scotland to the port.
The animals were seen bar-biting and finger-sucking – clearly in distress.
We were there to capture footage and imagery as evidence of the unacceptable welfare conditions.
James West, our Senior Policy Manager, who attended the protest said:
“It was extremely harrowing to witness such unnecessary cruelty. There is no reason for these journeys to continue and we must all do everything possible to ensure the Government takes the opportunity Brexit offers to end all live exports for slaughter and fattening once we leave the EU.”
As the Joline set sail with the truck on-board, cries from the terrified animals could be heard from the shore side - a disturbing reminder of the torment facing these young calves. Upon arrival in Calais, the journey for these young calves will continue down to Spain or Italy, where they will be reared for veal, in conditions that are most probably illegal in the UK.
This latest shipment highlights the urgent need for a UK-wide ban on live exports for both slaughter and fattening.
Take action to end these cruel journeys for good
In the face of Scottish government resistance to ending live exports, thousands of Compassion supporters in Scotland have already emailed their MSPs.
Now, we need to remind the government in Westminster that, without a ban on exports for slaughter AND fattening, thousands of British animals could continue to suffer every year. Please email Defra Secretary of State, Michael Gove, today.