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Protest as live animal export starts from Dover's Eastern Docks again

The Jolene arrives at the port of Dover during a trial for live animal exports.
The Jolene arrives at the port of Dover during a trial for live animal exports.

The ship arrives at the Port of Dover during a trial for live animal exports

by Graham Tutthill

Protestors have gathered outside Dover's Eastern Docks this morning when the trade in exporting live animals resumed at the port.

A Dutch company submitted a request to operate from the port after the Port of Ramsgate tried to stop the trade last September.

Dover Harbour Board announced that following two berthing trials and some modifications to the ship, the MV Joline, permission had been given to start a ferry service from the port's car ferry berths "within specified weather limitations".

The harbour board said Barco de Vapor had indicated its principal business would be the carriage of livestock transporters, which is a legal trade.

"The High Court has previously made it clear that Dover Harbour Board must facilitate all legal trades through its port," the board said in a statement.

"The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) is responsible for arranging the conduct of all necessary animal welfare checks by its regulatory agency, the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA), throughout the duration of the service in order to ensure that all of its requirements are met.

"We respect the positions of all concerned about this particular trade and hopes that the significantly shorter sea-crossing from Dover, when compared with other ports, will at least bring some relative benefit for the welfare of the animals in the transporters."

Animal rights campaigners gathered at the port when the first shipment left. It is believed it will be a weekly service.

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