Thursday, 13 September 2012
Ramsgate Live Animal Exports 46 Sheep Dead. 2 Arrested. Senior Councillor Demands Full Investigation and Ban on Further Exports
Chairman of Thanet Council Overview & Scrutiny Panel, Councillor Ian Driver has called for an immediate ban on further exports of live farm animals from the port of Ramsgate and a full investigation into events which led to the deaths of 45 sheep at the Port of Ramsgate on Wednesday 12 September.
According to reports from the RSPCA 2 sheep were destroyed following injuries sustained in transport to Ramsgate. 2 more sheep were drowned after falling into the sea at the port and 41 other sheep were destroyed by vets because they were unfit to travel.
Inspectors from DEFRA Animal Health & the RSPCA stopped one of the 7 lorries carrying an estimated 3,500 sheep from embarking on the ferry Joline and continuing its journey because of concerns about mechanical issues and worries about the welfare of the 550 sheep on board. It is understood that the lorry has been impounded for breaching EU regulations & the driver and his assistant have been arrested by Kent Police.
Said Driver,”I was at the port today and witnessed the unloading of the lorry. I felt physically sick by what I saw and understand that many of the animals taken from the lorry have had to be destroyed because they were ill or injured. It’s a tragic co-incidence, but on 7 September Thanet Council wrote to Government Environment Minister Owen Patterson MP, expressing serious concerns about the shipments of live farm animals from Ramsgate and asking for permission to stop further exports. 5 days later, these terrible events have shown our concerns to be fully justified”.
“In light of what has happened over the past 2 weeks and the tragic events of today I do not believe that Thanet Council can ensure the welfare of animals exported from Ramsgate Port. I therefore call on the Council to immediately ban any further exports. I will also be taking steps to set up a full Overview and Scrutiny investigation into the awful events at the port today”.