September 2012: Good news that Ramsgate has suspended live exports for the time-being - and possibly for good. Well done to KAALE and everyone who has been protesting against this disgusting industry. Without them horrific events (where 45 sheep were shot dead and some drowned) might have never come to light. The photos on this link are heart-breaking, but this is the face of live exports in Britain today. It must end.
The growing awareness of live exports across Europe - including in the UK - is bringing up a whole host of unwelcome issues. Here are some of the main ones:
- Long haul - Current EU legislation doesn’t limit the amount of time animals can be transported to slaughter or sale or intensive rearing facilities. There are provisions for rests, but these are few and far between - for example, depending on age, cows can go 9-14 hours before 1 hours rest and being back on the road again.
- Welfare dismissed - there are some provisions food and water - but in most instances, animals can go without food or adequate water supply for over a day. This can lead to dehydration, exhaustion and in some cases death.
- Pack them in - squashed in tightly, it’s easy for an animal to fall and never get back up, trampled accidentally by the others. Inadequate space to move around, reach water, lie down to rest or not enough height to stand up fully can lead to dehydration, exhaustion and in some cases death. Gaps, rails and partitions can lend themselves to legs, hooves, horns and even heads getting painfully stuck. Injuries from being pushed into walls, rails or each other can leave animals bleeding and in pain for potentially days with no respite.
Journey’s inside the UK can be from the tip of Cornwall right up to the Shetland Islands and any distance in between, under the conditions above. They can also make their way to port and get shipped to the EU or the middle east. Animals can be exported anywhere in the world as long as the country has gained certification by the Government.
Besides sorting out licenses and veterinary health checks before transport, there is no way to monitor live animals in transit. In the UK a journey log is required to make sure that the schedule matches the legal guidelines, but there is no way to make sure the actual journey does.
The UK used to ban the export of live animals to Europe - a move that was called for in the early 90’s when travelling conditions were exposed to the public in a number of high profile investigations. The ban was lifted in 2006. The public do not want live exports of animals to Europe and it is an unpopular trade - but you can help us do something about it!
What you can do to help:
- Petition: Although we obviously object to all slaughter, the exporting of live animals heaps yet another horror onto them. Please sign Councillor Ian Driver's petition to allow ports to refuse the trade in live exports on ethical grounds: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/16024
- Sign the EU wide petition run by Animals’ Angels to reduce transport times to 8 hours. www.8hours.eu.
- Join a demonstration! Kent Action Against Live Exports (KAALE) organise a demonstration every time a shipment of live animals is at the Port of Dover or Ramsgate. See their website for all the details. The KAALE NEWSLINE 01304 204688, KAALE NEWS 01304 375980 and KAALE (other) 01304 375980.
- Write to the docks which live animals go through - there are currently two in the UK, the Port of Dover and the Port of Ramsgate
(still write and ask them to not allow live exports to resume)
- Harbour Master, The Harbour Office, Ramsgate Port, Military Road, Ramsgate, Kent CT11 9LQ
- Write to you local MP or MEP to voice your concerns
The best way to help stop the live export of animals is to not support the business - go vegan and boycott all industries which would subject animals to these conditions!