Kent animal exports suspended

A council has placed a temporary ban on controversial live animal exports through a Kent port following the death of dozens of sheep which were severely lame.

Live updates

Live export ban - Compassion in World Farming statement

Actress Joanna Lumley "animals deserve better" Credit: PA

Compassion in World Farming says it has welcomed Thanet District Council’s decision to suspend live animal exports from Ramsgate port.

The port was, until yesterday, the only one in Britain exporting live animals to the continent for slaughter.

The council’s move came just hours after 45 sheep died at the port, the latest and most significant tragedy in the catalogue of problems with live exports from Ramsgate.

Actress and Compassion Patron Joanna Lumley OBE said: “I congratulate Thanet District Council for suspending this appalling trade. My sincere hope is that our Government will follow suit. We control the fate of these unfortunate creatures. Surely they deserve better from us?”

Philip Lymbery, the campaign's CEO, said: “This is hugely welcome, especially given the latest appalling incident at Ramsgate, where over 40 sheep died. We applaud Thanet District Council’s leadership in suspending the cruel and unnecessary live export trade.”

It's believed more than 70,000 animals were exported live through Ramsgate last year after the trade moved from Dover.


RSPCA Chief Executive Statement

The RSPCA is calling for the end to live animal exports from the Port of Ramsgate after 45 sheep died during an inspection of a lorry. It's understood that two men are being questioned by police in relation to vehicle and animal welfare offences.

This trade needs to stop right now. The RSPCA has been warning that a significant welfare incident like this could lead to tragedy for the animals and now it has."

– RSPCA chief executive Gavin Grant

Sheep die in "live export" through Ramsgate

45 sheep have been put to sleep for welfare reasons after RSPCA Inspectors stopped a lorry in the Port of Ramsgate in Kent.

The four tier lorry was pulled over by officers early this morning and due to technical faults with the vehicle it was declared unfit to travel.

The sheep were then unloaded into the port where it was discovered that two were seriously injured and so they were put to sleep following advice from vets.

Upon inspecting the load it was discovered that 41 were lame and so they were put to sleep

In a further tragedy, sheep were loaded into an area where the floor then collapsed - six sheep fell into water and four were rescued by officers, but two drowned.**

– RSPCA spokesperson

It's understood that two lorry drivers have been arrested in connection with the incident.

RSPCA Inspectors told Meridian that as of 23:43 the remaining sheep were still waiting in the port for an alternative vehicle to continue their journey.

Back to top

Latest ITV News reports