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The legal fight to ban live animal exports through the port of Ramsgate in Kent was abandoned today in a move that's shocked and dismayed animal welfare campaigners.
In its campaign to halt the trade, Thanet District Council has run up a legal bill of several thousand pounds to be footed by local taxpayers.
They've thrown in the towel after taking legal advice 12 days ahead of a High Court challenge that could have pushed legal costs far higher.
Ramsgate is the only British port handling live exports. Tonight one of the region's biggest sheep farmers said the climbdown was a 'victory for common sense'.
Tom Savvides has more and speaks to Cllr Ian Driver, campaigner Michele Parry and Frank Langrish from the NFU.
The owner of a port in Kent has abandoned its legal fight to stop live animal exports.
Thanet Council, which owns the Port of Ramsgate, says the basis on which it imposed a temporary ban "can no longer be sustained".
The move comes weeks before it faced a High Court challenge over the issue. Here's Tom Savvides with the latest news from the port, speaking to Cllr Ian Driver.
The NFU chief livestock adviser has said that he is reassured by Thanet Council's decision today to abandon its ban on live exports from Ramsgate.
Romney Marsh sheep farmer and National Farmers Union representative, Frank Langrish, has welcomed the decision by Thanet Council to drop its ban on live animal exports from Ramsgate.
Thanet Council said the decision to lift its temporary ban on live animal exports was partly taken because of soaring cost of legal fees.
Thanet Council has announced that it has lifted its temporary ban on live animal exports through the Port of Ramsgate with immediate effect.
It says it will continue to pursue other avenues to stop the trade but has had to consider the high cost of continuing legal action.
A High Court hearing had been scheduled to take place on December 11 after exporters sought a judicial review into the council's decision to impose a temporary ban.
The council’s decision also follows news that Defra has been undertaking a review into an incident at the port in September in which more than 40 animals had to be slaughtered.
Thanet Council has announced that following legal advice it has lifted its temporary ban on the movement of live animal exports through the Port of Ramsgate.
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The owner of a Kent port has lifted its temporary ban on live animal exports weeks before it faced a High Court challenge over its decision.
Thanet Council has announced that it has lifted its ban on live animal exports through the Port of Ramsgate amid mounting legal costs.