Live exports to start from Ipswich Port
ANIMAL rights protestors were today preparing to descend on Ipswich Port after hearing live exports will be resumed from there tomorrow.Live animal exports to the European Union have resumed after the ban imposed in the wake of the Surrey foot and mouth outbreak was lifted earlier this month.
By Paul Geater
ANIMAL rights protestors were today preparing to descend on Ipswich Port after hearing live exports will be resumed from there tomorrow.
Live animal exports to the European Union have resumed after the ban imposed in the wake of the Surrey foot and mouth outbreak was lifted earlier this month.
Now members of the pressure group Kent Against Live Exports (Kale) believe the trade is switching to Ipswich because the section of Dover docks usually used for exports is currently closed for repairs.
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Kale chairman Ian Birchall said the pressure group had identified two vessels which had been chartered by agricultural companies to carry live exports.
He said: “One is a vessel that normally goes between the Scottish mainland and islands. It is currently coming down the North Sea and its latest position was off Lowestoft so it is not far away.
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“The other is a larger vessel better equipped for animal transport. That has been hired by a Dutch company which has interests in farming and abattoirs.”
Mr Birchall said the movement of the vessels was being monitored and once they were heading for Ipswich, protestors would arrive at the port. He expected the first arrivals at the port tomorrow evening.
He said: “We don't know what time the vessels will arrive but we will certainly try to have a presence there.”
Mr Birchall said most of the animals being exported were male calves which had little value in Britain but were popular for the veal trade in Holland and Belgium.
However some animals could be driven across Europe as far as Spain.
The writer Carla Lane, a passionate animal rights campaigner, was today speaking to officials at port owners ABP to try to persuade them not to allow the trade.
However a spokesman for ABP confirmed that the trade was restarting through the port.
He said: “As the Statutory Harbour Authority for the Port of Ipswich, Associated British Ports (ABP) is legally bound to handle all legitimate traffic.
“The shipment of livestock is a legal trade in the United Kingdom, monitored and regulated by government agencies such as Defra.”
A police spokeswoman said they would be monitoring the situation, and hoped any protest would be peaceful and would not interfere with the work of the port.