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RSPCA gets hearing over animal exports

[ February 26, 2013   //   ]

The High Court has granted the RSPCA an oral hearing over whether it can take its judicial review application to a full hearing in its case against live animal exports from the port of Ramsgate, reports the Farmers Guardian website. This follows the court’s rejection of its application for a judicial review of the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency’s (AHVLA) arrangements for operating the trade through in early February.

However, the charity said it was disappointed that the hearing would not take place until May, which would be after the seasonal Easter peak in animal shipments.

Meanwhile, livestock exporters are suing Thanet District Council in the High Court for lost earnings during a now rescinded ban on using the port of Ramsgate last year. The council imposed the temporary ban following an incident in September 2012 in which more than 40 lame sheep had to be put down. This was lifted in November following another High Court ruling.

Thanet council has tried to ban the trade from its port of Ramsgate, which is the last UK port licenced by the Government to operate live animal exports.

The link to the Continent is maintained by the 300dwt, 1988-built Joline, a converted Russian river ferry operated by Netherlands-based shipping operator Barco de Vapor and which in turn is owned by animal trader John Onderwater. Sailings attract regular protests from animal rights activists, who regularly try to ambush trucks heading for the port.

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