Welfare groups pledge ‘zero tolerance’ at Ramsgate
The RSPCA and Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) have pledged to wage a zero tolerance campaign on breaches of animal welfare or transport laws at Ramgsgate port.
Campaigners met with leaders of Thanet District Council yesterday to discuss ways to improve animal welfare at the port, which is the exit point for thousands of the live calves and sheep that are shipped to the Continent each year. The RSPCA is seeking permission from port authorities to allow inspectors at the port.
RSPCA chief executive Gavin Grant said: “There will be zero tolerance of animal abuse from the Port of Ramsgate. We will be putting together a programme of work to ensure this happens and give due notice to the hauliers and shippers that, if we find cases of animal abuse, we will prosecute them.”
The RSPCA, CIWF and Thanet Council have all called for an end to live exports from Ramsgate.
“The reality is that animals, sometimes just weeks-old, are being shipped out of Ramsgate to face long journeys across Europe, only to be slaughtered or reared in conditions that would be illegal here,” Grant continued.
“Sadly it is still legal – something we want to change. The RSPCA is going to work with all of these groups to ensure that animals are not abused while this trade continues.”
Councillor Michelle Fenner, cabinet member from Thanet District Council, added: “We will use the law in terms of animal welfare and our duty of care to put pressure on Defra and the UK Government to assist us in the implementation of zero tolerance of this awful trade.”
Almost 400 MEPs have now supported a written declaration, calling for a maximum eight-hour journey time across the European Union. The RSPCA claims this will put pressure on the European Commission to reconsider the current live transport rules.