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MP Craig Mackinlay speaks out about live animal exports at Stop Live Transport event

By Katie Davis

South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay has spoken out about banning live animal exports, saying he 'will not stop until we are successful.'

The MP joined Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation, Compassion In World Farming and other like-minded organisations and individuals at a rally in Parliament Square in support of this year’s ‘Stop Live Transport: International Awareness Day’ last Wednesday.

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

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

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

At the event, Mr Mackinlay, who is hoping to re-introduce a Private Members Bill which would remove the obstacle in UK law preventing local authorities from banning live animal exports for slaughter, addressed the rally encouraging people to speak up for farm animals and make it clear that it is time to stop there ‘horrifying journeys.

Craig Mackinlay said: “I was delighted to be invited to address the Stop Live Transport event on International Awareness Day and to reassure the protesters that I will continue to campaign for the removal of the obstacle in UK law that prevents local authorities, such as Thanet District Council constituency, from banning live animal exports for slaughter.

“Now that we have voted to leave the European Union, this leaves the UK in a better situation to ban live animal exports.

“The European Commission have been firm in that they would not accept any change in UK law regarding live animal exports because it would break UK rules on the free movements of goods.

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

“I am hopeful that as negotiations progress with the EU, we will finally put a stop to this barbaric practice.

“On this issue, I will not stop until we are successful.”

The first live animal shipment of the year left from Ramsgate on Wednesday, August 9.

More than 60 protesters formed a blockade to stop lorries getting through, sitting in the road at Ramsgate Port to block three lorries until they were moved on by police.

Speaking on the day, former Thanet councillor and co-founder of the anti-live exports campaign, Ian Driver said: “It is a medieval style cruelty.

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

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

“There are horrendous and barbaric conditions.

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

“Until then, the government need to check exports better.”

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