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Ramsgate: Protesters form blockade to stop three lorries carrying live animal exports

By Katie Davis

More than 60 protesters formed a blockade this morning to stop lorries with live animal exports getting through.

The campaigners sat in the road at Ramsgate Port and blocked three lorries until they were moved on by police.

Former Thanet councillor and co-founder of the anti-live exports campaign, Ian Driver, said: "The protest was well turned out considering the short notice.

Sheep in a transporter travelling through Ramsgate Port. Picture Mike Pett

Sheep in a transporter travelling through Ramsgate Port. Picture: Mike Pett

"People started arriving at about 7am onward and the lorries arrived after 9'o clock.

"The three lorries were crammed with around 500 sheep each, so that's 1500 in total.

"We suspect this is the first of many and we expect there to maybe be six or seven in the next few weeks maybe.

"We also expect there to be more lorries in future shipments, three isn't many but it is still three too many. 

"I am hopeful that with Brexit it will get stopped but that's a few years down the line.

Ian Driver

Ian Driver

"Until then, the government need to check exports better."

The government recently hinted it could move to end live animal exports once the UK leaves the European Union.

Environment secretary Michael Gove said exiting the EU will enable the UK to insist on higher environmental and welfare standards. 

Ian said: "We will turn up to every shipment that happens to protest. 

"This has been the first one since about October this year and we expect a lot more.

A previous demonstration against live animal exports

A previous demonstration against live animal exports

"It is a medieval style cruelty.

"In the modern society we live in there is absolutely no justification for it.

"I am not against people eating meat but they should be treated humanly and not taken thousands of miles before being killed.

"Before they even get to Ramsgate, many of the animals have already travelled hundreds of miles from Scotland and Yorkshire etc.

"They are transported in such cramped, hot conditions - especially during these summer months - with limited access to food and water.

"These are horrendous and barbaric conditions."

Reg Bell being held by police during the protest at Ramsgate in 2014. Picture Mike Pett

Reg Bell being held by police during the protest at Ramsgate in 2014. Picture: Mike Pett

Protester Reg Bell, who arrested in 2014 for obstructing the highway during a protest at Ramsgate port, has attended more than 100 such demonstrations at the port.

He said: "There were around 60 to 70 protesters and around 50 to 60 police officers there.

 "I don't think there is a need for such a heavy police presence. 

"We didn't see anything this time which alerted us to major concern but there were still some issues.

"We are not happy with the way the animals are treated and often witness over crowding and the animals put in bad conditions."

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