Protests despite company pledge

ANIMAL rights activists rallied outside Ipswich's West Bank Terminal today in protest against under-fire shipping company Ferryway UK, despite a decision by the company to stop transporting live sheep.

ANIMAL rights activists rallied outside Ipswich's West Bank Terminal today in protest against under-fire shipping company Ferryway UK, despite a decision by the company to stop transporting live sheep.

Protesters gathered at gates to the port off Wherstead Road at 8am in protest at the company's actions in transporting sheep.

The protest came after Ferryway UK announced it had decided to cease transporting sheep as a result of the campaign by animal rights groups, including Kent Action Against Live Animal Exports (KALE) and Ipswich Animal Rights.

Paul Magnus, director of Ferryway, said: In light of the disruption caused to our business in Ipswich and to our customers by the protests and other actions organised and co-ordinated by KALE, we have decided no further bookings of live sheep will be accepted by the line.

"This means no further shipments will be made. We hope this will put an end to the activities against Ferryway and its staff at Ipswich by KALE and its sister organisations."

The animal rights activists, who travelled from as far as Oxford for today's protest, welcomed the announcement but said it would not automatically end protest action.

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Ipswich Animal Rights member Diana Marshall claimed Ferryway UK had pledged to end the transport of live sheep before.

"We feel they've misled us before over the last few days and we're not convinced they're telling us the truth," she said.

"This (protest) is a warning shot to say we are here and we are prepared to come out if they start again."

She added that a decision to end the transport of sheep by the company would be a major victory for the protestors.

"It's a decision for humanity and common sense," she said.

"All we're trying to do is stop suffering from animals.

"It would be great if it's true, at the moment we don't feel we can accept that statement as it is."

About 27 protestors gathered for today's protest, with some holding banners reading 'Horror of Live Exports' and 'Live Sheep Sent From Here'.

The protest followed similar action in the early hours of Saturday when animal rights groups gathered at the West Bank terminal after being alerted to a shipment of live sheep which was due to leave from Ipswich.

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