‘RSPCA chief executive meets Minister to discuss Ramsgate port’

Posted on September 14, 2012

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Yesterday (13th September), the RSPCA issued a media release and posted it on their web-site titled ‘RSPCA chief executive meets Minister to discuss Ramsgate port’. (The RSPCA is the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in the UK.)

‘… RSPCA chief executive Gavin Grant this morning met with Agriculture Minister David Heath to call for an immediate suspension of the live transport of animals from Ramsgate Port following a horrendous day yesterday which saw the death of 45 sheep at the port.

Gavin Grant said: “The minister has agreed to carry out a full investigation and support any prosecution and agrees with us that there should be zero tolerance of animal welfare abuse at the port. Yesterday, without doubt, animals suffered.”

The meeting was set up last night by Thanet MP Laura Sandys who is giving her full support to the RSPCA.

Yesterday, a lorry loaded with four tiers of sheep was stopped at the port in the morning and declared to be unfit to travel due to faults to the vehicle and the sheep had to be unloaded while the transporters tried to get another lorry. It was the same lorry that was declared unfit to travel just last month. It has had two further failures at previous visits.

One sheep had a broken leg and another was also injured and they were put to sleep on veterinary advice.

In a further tragedy, sheep were loaded into an area where the floor then collapsed – six sheep fell into water and four were rescued but two drowned.

A vet then inspected all the sheep and found that a further 41 were lame and so these animals had to be shot as they could not travel any further.

Two French lorry drivers were arrested at the scene.

The sheep were eventually loaded onto another lorry and left the port at 2am, but as the driver refused to tell the RSPCA inspector where he was heading the inspector followed the vehicle through the night, eventually arriving in Kettering several hours later.

RSPCA chief executive Gavin Grant said: “This trade needs to be suspended right now before any more animals suffer as those sheep did yesterday. This appalling situation cannot be allowed to continue a moment longer.”

Ramsgate is the only British port currently being used for shipping animals abroad for further fattening and slaughter.

The RSPCA has fought against this trade for well over 100 years. “If meat needs to go to the Continent then it should be on the hook, not on the hoof, and today cruelly illustrates that this appalling trade needs to cease immediately. This trade needs to stop. Thanet Council must suspend live export operations at the port now,” added Gavin …’

Read the media release and notes at www.rspca.org.uk/media/pressreleases/details/-/article/PRESS_RSPCAChiefExecutiveMeetsMinisterToDiscussRamsgatePort

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