Protesters report concerns about sheep due for live transport

Sheep in trailer © RSPCA PhotolibraryThe controversial live transport trade received another blow this week (Wednesday, 4 September) after a lorry full of sheep bound for the continent was turned away from the port of Dover, after four animal health officials boarded a lorry following concerns about an “exceptional” smell.

According to reports, a protester close to the road became concerned that the animals looked unwell and that an “exceptional” smell was emanating from the lorry. They were so concerned about the welfare of those sheep on board that they contacted the Police Liaison Officer immediately, who called in to Animal Health at the port.

The shipment was due to sail at 7pm, however after 45 minutes the lorry was refused. Its final destination has not yet been confirmed by the government’s animal health officials, AHVLA, but it is thought the sheep were sent back to their original place of loading, which could have been as far as Northamptonshire.

Our inspectors continue to be refused entry into the port

RSPCA chief executive Gavin Grant said:

“It was a warm day and the animals may have become ill or injured as they travelled in peak time traffic for many hours. If that lorry had not been checked, those animals could have sailed from Dover and started their long journey to Europe.


It is totally unacceptable that the RSPCA is being prevented from checking the welfare of all animals involved in this needless trade.”

This latest incident comes just one week before the first anniversary of the tragedy at Ramsgate where 47 sheep died. This matter is now the subject of a court case taken against the shippers by Kent County Council.

Next Thursday (12 September) we will be laying a floral tribute, remembering those sheep which lost their lives and the millions of farm animals involved in long distance live transport.  We will also be using the occasion to thank Thanet District Council and the local residents who spoke out against this cruel and unnecessary trade.

Take action

Take action today – email Tim Waggot, Dover Harbour board chief executive asking him to accept the offer from our inspectors to monitor the trade.

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