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Live export meetings will allow people to have their say in Dover

By Beth Robson

Dover Harbour Board has spoken about live exports at the first in a series of meetings, allowing people to have their say about the trade.

Live exports resumed at the Eastern Docks in May last year with animals being conveyed from Dover to continental Europe on the MV Joline.

Sheep ready for export via the port of Dover

Tim Waggott, Dover Harbour Board’s chief executive, told a meeting of the district council’s scrutiny committee that by law, DHB, along with all UK ports, is obliged to permit the transportation of live animals for slaughter on the continent.

A motion, put forward last July, urges the district council to lobby the government to change the law so ports have the right to refuse the trade. The motion refers to the “outdated” Harbours, Docks and Piers Clauses Act 1847.

The council had also resolved to lobby DHB to grant RSPCA inspectors access to the port and inspect any future shipments of live animals to the Continent.

Joline, the flat bottomed Russian tank carrier which exports animals from Dover

DDC’s scrutiny committee will lay on up to four more meetings to allow other organisations involved with the trade, like the RSPCA, animal rights campaigners and haulage companies, to have their say.

Cllr Jim Hood, chairman of the committee, said: “If people can’t get to one meeting, we will try our best to accommodate them.

“We are trying to keep them separate because it’s a difficult subject.”

For the full story, see the Mercury on Thursday.

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