‘“Enough is enough” says Green MEP after more animals suffer at Ramsgate Port’

Posted on November 26, 2012

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Today (26th November), Keith Taylor MEP issued a media release which was also posted on his web-site titled ‘“Enough is enough” says Green MEP after more animals suffer at Ramsgate Port’.

‘… Following another appalling incident this week involving live animals exported from Ramsgate port, Keith Taylor MEP has written to the UK’s Animal Welfare minister, David Heath MP, to request an urgent meeting. Keith is urging the government to take this issue seriously so that the welfare of animals is properly protected during live transport. He is also calling for urgent action to be taken to address consistent violations of animal welfare legislation.

On Wednesday 21 November at 11.15am, the MV Joline, set sail from the Port of Ramsgate despite an early morning warning from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) that there would be force 8 gale from lunchtime onwards. As an ex-river boat the Joline is flat bottomed with a shallow draft and is not suitable for transport in poor weather conditions. After two hours at sea the Joline was forced to return back to the UK. This is the second incident at the port in just over two months.

Keith Taylor, the Green MEP for South East England and a member of the European Parliament’s Intergroup for Animal Welfare said “In October 45 sheep sadly had to be destroyed at the port after being injured. Now we hear that just this week an ex-river boat carrying two lorries of animals has chosen to set sail across the English Channel in gale force 8 winds. Last year I received written confirmation from Defra that the Joline is unsuitable to travel in winds stronger than gale force 6. Yet, one year later this is being ignored. The time for more reassuring noises from DEFRA has passed. Now we need to see some effective action, which is why I have requested an urgent meeting with the minister.”

Keith continued: “EU legislation is in place to ensure animals do not have to experience these awful conditions and it is unacceptable that we are frequently witnessing the law being ignored by both the live exports industry and the government. These poor animals are needlessly continuing to suffer.”

Keith wrote to the UK’s Animal Welfare minister, David Heath MP, at the beginning of November following the death of the 45 lame sheep at Ramsgate port asking what additional monitoring of the transportation conditions is taking place, following frequent violations. This week Keith has written to the government’s Animal Health Agency urging them to accept the support of RSPCA inspectors in monitoring the welfare of the animals. He’s also written to the new EU Commissioner with responsibility for animal welfare, Tonio Borg, calling on him to take action on the UK’s lack of enforcement of EU legislation.

Keith Taylor concluded: “As a Green MEP, I am opposed to live exports of animals from the UK and believe there should be an eight hour maximum journey time across the EU. European regulations must also be strengthened to better protect animals. In the meantime I believe that EU member states must fully enforce current EU rules protecting animals in transit.”

Across the EU millions of animals have to endure long journeys. Animal welfare organisations frequently highlight that regulations are often not being met and animals are being transported in poor condition resulting in exhaustion, dehydration and, in some cases, death in transit …’

Read the item at www.keithtaylormep.org.uk/2012/11/26/%E2%80%9Cenough-is-enough%E2%80%9D-says-green-mep-after-more-animals-suffer-at-ramsgate-port/

Please sign the government e-petition at http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/42002

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