Felixstowe: Shipping firm hit with �3,000 bill after leak from cargo of skins

FELIXSTOWE: A company is today having to pay more than �3,000 after being fined for allowing liquids to leak from a shipping container.

The container, carrying sheep skins, was heading for Turkey when it passed through the Port of Felixstowe in March this year.

However, it was not labelled as containing animal by-products and was not properly sealed to prevent its contents from escaping.

Liquid from the skins was leaking from the container as it arrived in Felixstowe, magistrates sitting in Ipswich heard.

On discovering the container, officers from Suffolk Trading Standards issued a notice prohibiting the movement of the container until the leak was stopped and ordered it to be stored so that all further leakage was contained ready for disposal.

Zivana Skins (UK) Limited, the company responsible, pleaded guilty at South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court to two offences under the Animal By Product Regulations 2005.

The company admitted transporting animal skins/hides in a non-leak proof container and not labelling the container clearly and was ordered to pay a fine of �1,500.

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They were also ordered to pay costs of �1,295 and a victim surcharge of �15 – �3,310 in total.

Commenting on the case, councillor Colin Spence, Suffolk County Council’s portfolio holder for public protection, said: “Suffolk Trading Standards takes spillages like these very seriously. The liquid, which could leak onto the highway, could potentially spread livestock diseases, such as foot and mouth, over a very wide area.

“Disease outbreaks can have a major impact on the farming community and the UK as a whole. The level of fine imposed by the courts sends a clear message to those involved in the collection and transportation of animal by-products to ensure that they understand and adhere to the rules.”

n How can we better protect our ports? Write to Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk