Port of Ipswich: ‘Suspension of live animal exports welcomed by RSPCA’

Posted on September 28, 2012


Today (28th September), a news item was posted on guardian.co.uk titled ‘Suspension of live animal exports welcomed by RSPCA’.

‘… No British ports are exporting live animals after Ipswich halted sailings until further notice following animal welfare concerns –

Live exports of farm animals has been halted with no British ports now operating the trade following animal welfare concerns.

Associated British Ports (ABP), owner of Ipswich port, has suspended sailings until further notice following discussions with the RSPCA, the charity said.

Only one shipment left Ipswich last Friday after exports from Ramsgate were suspended earlier this month by Thanet council. More than 40 sheep had to be destroyed after a lorry entering the Kent port was prevented from travelling to the continent by government inspectors.

Gavin Grant, the RSPCA’s chief executive, said: “I am delighted that ABP have suspended this dire trade. They are taking their responsibilities seriously to the animals. ABP have acknowledged to the RSPCA that, like Ramsgate, their port did not have suitable facilities to help the animals should an emergency arise.”

Grant said farmers were making efforts to reopen Ramsgate, but said they should “respect the views of the people of Ramsgate, Ipswich and this country that there is no place in a civilised and compassionate society for this vile trade that causes so much suffering to animals”.

He is pressing the government to institute a formal ban but ministers say that while they are against live exports and they would prefer animals to be slaughtered as close to where they are reared as possible, a national ban would be against EU rules.

Compassion in World Farming, which has also been campaigning against live exports, has described the trade as “a stubborn rump” of what used to be – 20 years ago, 2.5m animals were shipped out of Britain each year. Now it is less than 100,000, it says.

The National Farmers Union said exporting live animals was legal and the health and welfare of the animals through transit was farmers’ top priority. The NFU chief livestock adviser, Peter Garbutt, said: “Anyone transporting animals has a duty to use the shortest route to reach their destination.

“We have met with the RSPCA and other animal welfare groups in the past few weeks to express our wish that the shortest route possible be used for animal transportation across the channel for that very reason. We have made it clear that the port of Dover would be the most suitable location, but as the boat being used is unable to dock there currently, Ramsgate is the next best option available.

“The NFU has called for a full and frank investigation into the incidents that led to the closure of Ramsgate port. Concerns have been raised with us as to why contingency plans to deal with such events do not appear to have been followed by the bodies overseeing the trade and with the pressure that was placed on government officials to sanction the slaughter of these animals at the port by the RSPCA when more humane alternatives may have been available.” …’

Read the item at www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/sep/28/live-animal-exports-suspended?newsfeed=true


Posted in: News