Keith Taylor MEP saddened by suffering and fatalities of sheep at Ramsgate port

14 September 2012

14 September 2012 – On Thursday 13th September a truck carrying sheep was declared unfit due to faults to the vehicle. Around 500 sheep had to be unloaded while another truck was arranged. A vet inspecting the sheep discovered 43 were injured and had to be put to sleep. In addition to this six sheep fell into the water due to the area where they were being unloaded collapsing. The RSPCA were able to rescue four of these drowning sheep. EU regulations state that animals must be ‘fit’ to travel and considerations like injuries should prevent animals being loaded.

Keith said, “This tragedy reinforces the urgent need to implement existing EU regulations to protect animals in transit. The failure of the animal transport industry to meet minimum standards has already been highlighted on a number of occasions. The situation should never have been allowed to deteriorate to this extent. The truck used on this occasion should have never been used to transport sheep. “

Any vehicle used to transport animals on long journeys must also be inspected and ‘approved’ by the authorities before it can be used. All EU member states are expected to carry out checks on vehicles and animals during transport and at the end of journeys.

Live exports suspended

Thanet District Council suspended live exports from the Port of Ramsgate with immediate effect. The ban will be lifted if suitable facilities for animals can be built, however this depends on the cost of building and running facilities and whether it will be a priority for the council.

Keith continued, “The council decision to halt exports is the right one. I have been supporting the people in Ramsgate against this unnecessary trade for many months and I would like to recognise their relentless campaigning. Transporting live animals for hours on end is cruel and must be stopped. ”

Keith has recently written to European Commissioner Dalli urging him to ensure better enforcement of EU animal welfare standards and to consider the introduction of an 8-hour maximum journey limit for animal transportation, as a step towards ending all live exports.

Take action

You can support the campaign to end live exports by:

Visiting the Compassion in World Farming website to call on the UK Government to ban live exports.

Visiting the RSPCA website to call on the EU Commission to implement an eight hour limit on live animal transport.

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