RSPCA: ‘Sad plight of yet more sheep leaving from Ramsgate’

Posted on November 16, 2012

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Today (16th November), the RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Britain) posted a news item on their web-site titled ‘Sad plight of yet more sheep leaving from Ramsgate’.

‘… Another 1,000 sheep sailed to Calais from the port of Ramsgate on Thursday morning (15 November). RSPCA inspectors were at the port as the seven transporters arrived but once again they were prevented from inspecting the animals by the hauliers.

RSPCA Chief Inspector Steve Dockery alerted the authorities to a two inch gap in one of the trailer units’ floors that could pose a hazard to sheep by allowing their feet or legs to become trapped.

RSPCA prevented from inspecting animals

The exporter’s driver retaliated by closing all the ventilation hatches on the lorries, so preventing RSPCA inspectors from checking the welfare of the sheep inside the lorries.

Despite our concerns the damaged lorry was allowed to board the Jolene, a flat-bottomed Russian tank carrier designed to work in rivers not the open sea, which left at 10.22am on Thursday morning.

Chief Inspector Dockery said:

Again the action of the hauliers means we have been prevented from checking the sheep and viewing the conditions inside the lorries.

Who knows what things were like for the animals or what misery lies ahead for them.

Thanet District Council took the decision to close the port to live exports after a day of horror in September when 47 sheep died.

Read more about this horrific incident in our news story.

Court ruling forced port to re-open

But a High Court judge, Mr Justice Burton, said the port should re-open pending a judicial review of the council’s decision to close it. The judicial review is expected to start at the beginning of December.

Speaking after the sailing today, Gavin Grant, RSPCA chief executive said:

We will be sending the evidence of today’s sailing to the minister and European Commission.

These animals have no voice, so we must continue to speak out for them and will continue to do all we can to stop this terrible trade.

We will also continue to press that the taxpayers’ subsidy of this trade ends.

Its full costs – the necessary veterinary and animal health regulatory inspections, providing lairage and emergency facilities should be paid by the hauliers and shipper that profit from animal misery and not by the people of Britain who want this trade stopped.

Take action now!

Join us in our fight to end this wretched trade, we can not allow any more animals to suffer and die this way.

Help end long-distance live transport …’

Read the item at www.rspca.org.uk/media/news/story/-/article/SadPlightYetMoreSheepLeavingFromRamsgate_Nov12

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