Protest over animal exports

FURIOUS animal welfare campaigners turned out in protest as lorries carrying live exports destined for the continent arrived at a Suffolk port.Earlier this week bosses at the Port of Ipswich gave the green light to start shipping livestock to Europe.

FURIOUS animal welfare campaigners turned out in protest as lorries carrying live exports destined for the continent arrived at a Suffolk port.

Earlier this week bosses at the Port of Ipswich gave the green light to start shipping livestock to Europe.

It is handling the trade for two weeks because the berth at Dover usually used for exports is currently closed for repairs.

Campaigners have been left horrified by the news and last night turned out in force to express their anger outside the port's West Terminal.

The protest, which had a police presence, saw around 50 campaigners wave banners, hold placards and shout criticism as the lorries, which were carrying calves, arrived to unload their cargo.

Sue Drake, from Southwold is a member of the Suffolk branch for Compassion in World Farming, said: “It's just dreadful and in this day and age totally uncalled for.

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“We know of other ports that have refused this trade and I think it's a shame Ipswich hasn't had the courage to do the same.

“These poor animals are only two or three weeks old and are taken away from their mothers as a by-product of the milk industry.

“Within days they are loaded into cramped conditions on a lorry with no bedding and are then taken onto a ship before reaching Europe and being killed. I feel it really is a very nasty business.”

Helen Stolley, a member of Ipswich Animal Welfare, said: “We are entirely against this business and if it goes on at all it should go on the hook not the hoof.

“We showed in the 1990s that there is great public support for our view and that Ipswich does not want this terrible trade.”

A spokesman for Ipswich Port Authority confirmed it would be handling shipments of livestock while the berth at Dover was closed.

He added: “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.”

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