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Report calls for tougher livestock checks in Ramsgate

[ March 8, 2013   //   ]

A government report into the death of more than 40 sheep at the Port of Ramsgate  following an incident in September 2012 has demanded a tightening-up of procedures. Six animals fell into the water and drowned after being unloaded after a floor on which they were being uloaded for inspection collapsed and 41 lame sheep had to be put down.

The report called for all consignments passing through Ramsgate – the last UK port licenced to export livestock to the Continent – to be properly inspected and for better enforcement of welfare standards. It also called for a range of contingency measures to be introduced and for the Government’s Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) to improve its procedures.

This is the latest move in the long and often fraught saga of UK live animal exports.

A few days earlier, livestock exporters said they were suing Thanet District Council in the High Court for lost earnings after the council imposed a temporary ban on animal movements through Ramsgate following last September’s incident. But this was lifted in November following a High Court ruling.

Earlier, the High Court rejected a legal challenge by the RSPCA to stop the export of live animals to the Continent from the port of Ramsgate, although it has since granted an appeal. However, the charity said it was disappointed that the appeal hearing would not take place until May, which would be after the seasonal Easter peak in animal shipments.

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