Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Statement on live animal export protest

In response to the live animal exports protest that took place earlier today (Tuesday 4 October) outside Turner Contemporary:

Leader of Thanet District Council, Cllr. Bob Bayford, said:

“The council is extremely concerned and disappointed by today’s opportunistic protest and the impact it may have both on Turner Contemporary and businesses in the area. The last thing we want to see is this adversely affecting the future regeneration of Thanet, as Turner Contemporary has already played a vital role in bringing visitors into the area over the last few months.

“The council would like to make it very clear that we do not provide funding for the gallery’s running costs. Any income received from live animal exports through Ramsgate merely covers the costs of dealing with the shipments. The fees charged for live animal exports are set to cover the costs incurred by the council. We have no concerns whatsoever with legitimate protests at the port, provided that they do not compromise people’s safety.

“Our opposition to live animal exports has been made clear from the start. We are not happy about it and would prefer not to see Ramsgate being used for this purpose, but we have no option but to remain strictly within the law. We have made it clear that this is a campaign that needs to be highlighted at a national level. That’s why we have already lobbied both the Government and the European Commission on this issue and we are now seeking a meeting with a government minister to discuss this further.”

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