Ban on live exports from Ramsgate lifted
Thanet District council announced the lifting of a ban on live exports from the Port of Ramsgate yesterday, after seeking legal advice.
A ban was placed on live exports from the port after Ramsgate Port Authorities deemed the facilities there to be unsuitable in the event of an emergency.
After announcing the lifting of the ban, the council also asked the transporters and owners of the Joline, the ship exporting livestock from the port, to drop legal proceedings against the council. As it currently stands, a judicial review of the council’s decision to impose the ban will be heard at the High Court on 11 December.
Cabinet member councillor Michelle Fenner said Thanet Council’s position had always been to work within the legal framework and to ensure the welfare of animals. She explained that the decision to impose the temporary ban on the port, in the aftermath of the horrific incidents in September, which saw more than 40 sheep put down, had not been taken lightly.
Fenner added: “In terms of now having to lift the ban, our hand has again been forced as we are duty-bound to act in accordance with the law. We have to consider our absolute obligation to protect the public purse.
“As we’ve done everything in our power to get to this point, it is disappointing, however we have worked extremely hard in recent months and will continue to push the agencies involved in whatever legal way we can to ensure that the welfare of animals is protected.”
Chief livestock advisor at the NFU Peter Garbutt said: “The NFU has consistently said that moving live animals throughout Europe is a legitimate and lawful activity and it is reassuring that these latest developments bear this out.”
“The key issue is that these animals are transported under the right conditions in order that they arrive at their destination fit and healthy.”
However, animal rights charity the RSPCA said it regretted the decision made by Thanet District Council to lift the ban on live exports, which it actively sought to be put in place.
In a statement issued to the press the RSPCA said: “We also note Thanet Council’s withdrawal from the judicial review of their previous ban due to be heard in the High Court from 11th -13th December. In light of this decision, the RSPCA is considering what we will do to safeguard the welfare of animals shipped through the Port.”
- judicial review
- port authorities
- Thanet council