24.05.13

We are calling on the people of Dover to support us in a bid for our inspectors to be allowed into the port to monitor live exports.

Inspectors checking calves at Ramsgate port © RSPCALive exports resumed from the Port of Dover in Kent this month, after previously sailing from Ramsgate for over a year, but our inspectors have not been granted permission to enter the port.

We applied for permission to be present in the port to safeguard the welfare of the animals but received no response.

Our inspectors have been at the port of Ramsgate for every sailing throughout the last year and regularly highlighted health problems with the animals.

The Joline sailed from Dover earlier this month loaded with lorries of sheep for the journey to France and then possibly further afield.

Dover doesn’t have the facilities to deal with animal emergencies

RSPCA chief executive Gavin Grant said:

“We were extremely saddened to see that live exports have resumed from the Port of Dover – a move that could see an increase in the number of animals that will unnecessarily have to endure long journeys to the continent.

“Like Ramsgate, Dover does not have facilities at or near the port to deal with emergencies and our inspectors have not been granted permission to the port to monitor the welfare of the animals.”

We are calling for support to persuade Dover Harbour Board to accept the offer from our inspectors to monitor the trade.

Gavin Grant added:

“Unfortunately, the animal transport industry has frequently shown violations of UK and EU regulations and RSPCA presence would bolster public confidence and ensure animal welfare issues are being fully addressed within the port environment. Please join us and email Dover Harbour Board.”

The public oppose live transport

Joline arriving at Ramsgate port © Andrew Forsyth/RSPCA photolibraryWe vowed to fight on for the animals after Thanet District Council lifted its temporary ban on live exports at Ramsgate in November, despite huge opposition from the public and animal welfare organisations alike. The animals are transported over to Calais on an open-decked, flat bottomed converted Russian tank transporter, the MV Joline.

At Ramsgate the local authority had closed the port, which has no livestock handling facilities, to live exports in September following a horrific incident when over 40 sheep had to be destroyed. The port was then re-opened in October following legal action by Dutch exporters.

Take action

Lend your voice and join us in calling for the Port of Dover to allow RSPCA inspectors in to monitor the shipments of live animals.

Email Bob Goldfield, Dover Harbour Board Chief Executive now!

You can also join us on Friday 7 June in Kent for a public meeting to oppose live animal exports. We hope to see you at Dover Town Hall between 7pm – 9pm. More details about the meeting on our event page.

We can’t do it without you

To help the RSPCA monitor and protect more animals like this, please donate online or text HELP to 78866 to give £3. Text costs £3 plus one standard network rate message.