At last the powers that be are are taking action against the cruel and barbaric exporters of live sheep and calves from Ramsgate Port. Kent County Council Trading Standards have commenced criminal proceedings against a number of defendants. Their first Court appearance is scheduled for Tuesday 2 April Canterbury Magistrates’ Court. They are charged with offences under the Welfare of Animals in Transport Order 2006, of loading sheep which were unfit to travel and of transporting them in an inappropriate vehicle contrary to Articles 5 and 9 of the Order. These offences are punishable by 6 months’ imprisonment and/or a £5,000 fine. The alleged actions of these unnamed people led to the slaughter of more than 40 sheep at Ramsgate Port on 12 September 2012. In another development Minister of State for DEFRA David Heath announced the publication of an investigation report into the horrific events at Ramsgate on 12th September. I will publish a copy of it when i get one. A summary of the recommends
- Inspection of every consignment passing through Ramsgate;
- Tougher enforcement of welfare procedures;
- AHVLA implementing its own contingency plans in the event of an emergency if the transporter is unwilling or unable to implement their own plans within two hours;
- Improved procedures to ensure an AHVLA vet is always within an hour of the port to assist AHVLA inspectors in the event of an emergency or welfare concern;
- Working with the operator of the transport vessel to develop new contingency measures in the event of an emergency;
- Restricting changes that the transporter can make to the journey log of the delivery prior to the export. This will help maintain clear records of the animals during the journey.
However, until the barbaric trade is finally stopped in Ramsgate and the rest of the country the campaign continues!