The National Farmers Union has denied launching legal action against Thanet District Council after the authority temporarily banned live exports through the Port of Ramsgate.
A spokesman for the union said that animal rights campaigners had "scored an own goal" because plans to move the exports to Ipswich meant longer journeys for the animals.
– William White, Regional Director of the NFU in the South East
"We are aware there is legal action pending against Ramsgate Port but the NFU is not bringing that action. Ramsgate is an open port under national law and the council cannot be surprised this legal action is going ahead as they can't contravene national or EU legislation that governs free trade.
"It is a lawful trade. There is a lot that could be done in Europe to ensure that there is consistent and fair enforcement of what is a large raft of animal welfare legislation."