Published: 00:00, 07 March 2002
LIVE animal exports are poised to return to Dover Eastern Docks and moves to bring an end what Dover and Deal MP Gwyn Prosser calls an "evil trade" will recommence.
Speaking from Westminster, Mr Prosser denounced the transporting of animals to European meat markets which been halted for the last year. He said: "It was banned for 12 months because of the outbreak of the foot and mouth epidemic.
"There are nearly 100 farmers in the constituency with a mixture of dairy cattle, grazing sheep, pigs and arable so it's good news that the epidemic has officially been declared over. But it's bad news because the export of live animals on the farmers' ferry will start up again very soon.
"I and thousands of my constituents believe that it is cruel, unnecessary and I want to see it banned. The Farmers' Co-operative has already said it is eager and anxious to export to France again so it won't be long before it starts."
The MP stressed that as well as the discomfort for the animals when the weather in the Channel is rough, horrific images of their sufferings as they are taken down through the Continent to Italy and Greece, have been captured on film footage. Having been kept in blistering conditions, for days at a time, they were then slaughtered inhumanely.
He added: "Last month more than 1,000 protestors joined me and Joanna Lumley in a march from Hyde Park to Trafalgar Square to rally at the foot of Nelson's Column. It's apparent to me there is enormous pressure - not least by the people of Dover and Deal - to campaign against this evil trade."
On Saturday, March 23, Mr Prosser and campaigners with the Compassion in World Farming movement will lay a wreath at Dover Eastern Docks as a symbol of all the animals who have passed through the port to their deaths.