A legal challenge has been served on a local council in Kent over its decision to suspend live animal exports through the Port of Ramsgate.
Thanet District Council has received notice of an application for a judicial review after it temporarily banned live exports last month.
The suspension was introduced after 42 sheep which arrived at the port in a lorry unfit for transporting live animals had to be put down.
The deaths occurred after the RSPCA provided a report to the council highlighting the port's inadequate facilities.
The local authority said the suspension would be lifted if suitable facilities could be built within the port and whether it deemed it a priority compared with other issues.
Thanet District Council declined to name those behind the legal challenge but said it intends to mount a "vigorous defence".
"Thanet District Council has been served with legal proceedings which challenges its decision to suspend live animal movements from the Port of Ramsgate. The challenge aimes to overturn its decision and sought damages for breach of European Law."
"It also sought an interim order requiring the council to reopen the port for live animal movements pending the outcome of the judicial review application."