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Live exports at Port of Ramsgate met by protestors

By Katie Davis

Dozens of animal-rights protestors have gathered at the Port of Ramsgate as lorry loads of live calves arrive to be shipped.

Angered campaigners from Kent Action Against Live Exports have taken to the streets in an ongoing fight to stop the shipments, which see animals from Scotland sent on a five-hour boat journey to Calais before being slaughtered in Spain.

The few-week old cattle are able to be transported under EU freedom of movement rules.

Campaigners at the port this evening (5309453)
Campaigners at the port this evening (5309453)

Last month, people watched on in "disgust" as a live shipment of veal calves was shipped from the port, with some thought to be just two weeks old.

South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay has called for the end of the practice which he says "does not seem commercially viable".

A spokesman from the British Veterinary Association said: "Wherever possible, animals should be transported on the hook, as meat, not on the hoof, as live animals.”

At the height of protests at Ramsgate, the costs of policing demonstrations for 60 sailings in the 18 months to the end of 2012 was £405,043.

Thanet council went to court to try to halt exports but in 2015 was forced to pay £2.3m in compensation to companies who were blocked from exporting live animals from the Port of Ramsgate.

Campaigner Ian Driver said: "It is unbelievable that in the 21st century here we are having to protest in a so called civilised country against the absolutely barbaric treatment of animals."

Around 120 people have turned up to the protest of all ages, with the youngest just 10 months old and the oldest in their 80s.

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