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Animal rights activists campaign against live exports

By KentOnline reporter

Dozens of animals rights activists were in Ramsgate today to protest against live animals exports.

The trade has been branded evil and the shame of the seaside town.

But farmers say that with an uncertain future for them, these exports are vital for business.

Live animal exports protesters
Live animal exports protesters

Protesters met near Royal Harbour Approach, and carried a large poster calling for people to be the voice of the exported animals.

Their demonstration came just days after Conservative MP proposed a Bill to prohibit the export of live farmed animals for slaughter or fattening.

Millions of live animals are transported thousands of kilometres every year.

These long journeys often result in suffering as many animals receive insufficient food, water, rest and space to move, and face inhumane treatment at slaughter.

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

Environment secretary Michael Gove said in July that exiting the EU would enable the UK to insist on higher environmental and welfare standards.

Craig Mackinlay at the live animal exports meeting in Parliament Square last month
Craig Mackinlay at the live animal exports meeting in Parliament Square last month

Although he stopped short of an outright commitment to halt the trade, he said one of the key advantages of leaving the EU would be the ability to control exports.

South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay, who has campaigned to end the practice, has welcomed the news, despite the implementation of any ban being unlikely to take effect before 2019.

The MP last year introduced a bill in the House of Commons following the reintroduction of live animal exports at the Port of Ramsgate.

It called for councils to have the power to stop them.

Exports were banned by Thanet District Council in 2012 after the deaths of more than 40 sheep.

However, this was overturned by the High Court in 2014.

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