Live exports stopped at Ramsgate | Viva!

Live exports stopped at Ramsgate

Dover sending animals to death

July 2013: Live exports have returned to Dover

After the events of September 2012 at Ramsgate (where 45 sheep were shot dead and some drowned) exports have now halted at the port. Unfortunately there are still regular shipments of animals from Dover port to the continent.  Thanks to KAALE and their dedicated hard work members of the public are being made aware of the horrors of animal transportation. Currently Dover are not allowing RSPCA inspections and do not have suitable holdings for animals in case of emergencies. The animal transport industry is not only cruel and unnecessary in essence but also time and time again has violated EU regulations.

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 for 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.

Journeys 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:
  • Sign the EU wide petition run by Animals’ Angels to reduce transport times to 8 hours.
  • 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. See their website for all the details. The KAALE NEWSLINE 01304 204688, KAALE NEWS 01304 375980 and KAALE (other) 01304 375980.
  • Write to the port of Dover


    • Tim Waggot, Acting Chief Executive, Port of Dover, Harbour House, Marine Parade, Dover, Kent CT17 9BU
    • Email and marked for the attention of Dover Harbour Board Members
    • Contact the Secretary of state for Transport to demand that the RSPCA are allowed into Dover harbour to inspect the loading of animals. Email
    • Write to your 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!

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