Four lorries of sheep and calves arrived at the Dover Docks this morning and sailed to Calais, with a further shipment expected later today.
Today marks the biggest shipment of animals from Dover since trade resumed from the port in May.
The lorries were loaded onto the boat, the Joline, a flat-bottomed Russian tank carrier designed to work in rivers not the open sea, in the early hours of the morning. A further shipment is expected this afternoon at around 3pm.
Our inspectors continue to be refused entry into the port to inspect the animals, despite our repeated calls.
RSPCA deputy chief executive John Grounds said:
“This trade has no place in a modern, civilised, compassionate society and it must stop. The fact that this is the largest shipment only highlights this further, as ever more animals are suffering unnecessarily.
“Four lorries carrying both sheep and calves have already left our shores today and another shipment is expected this afternoon. It is unacceptable that these poor animals are being failed and we do not believe enough is being done to prevent their suffering.”
Trading Standards could provide a role in inspecting the trade
It also emerged today that a meeting has been requested between Kent County Council, Trading Standards, Kent Action Against Live Exports (KAALE), Thanet Against Live Exports (THALE) and us to explore how Trading Standards could provide a role in inspecting the trade.
Earlier this year the trade moved from the port of Ramsgate to the port of Dover. Previously, our officers, at the request of Thanet council (who own the port of Ramsgate), were given permission to be inside the port and carry out welfare checks on the animals as they arrived on the lorries.
Our inspectors found a whole series of offences were being committed, including injured animals, failed ventilation systems and ineffective watering systems.
John Grounds continued:
“We will continue to urge the Dover Harbour Board to allow RSPCA inspectors into the port to inspect the animals and help ensure their welfare.
“We must all stand up and speak out against live transport as the animals cannot speak for themselves and they cannot act for themselves.”
Take action today – email Tim Waggot, Dover Harbour board chief executive asking him to accept the offer from our inspectors to monitor the trade.
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.