The Government is reportedly considering banning the live export trade – and is set to launch a consultation in the spring.
The trade, which can see animals travel many miles before being slaughtered abroad, is largely unpopular with the public and has long been contested by campaigners. Only one port in the UK – Ramsgate in Thanet, Kent – takes animals from the country.
Earlier this week, campaigners from Kent Against Live Animal Export [KAALE] attended the House of Commons to discuss the issue with MPs.
KAALE told PBN: “We went to Parliament to represent our members at a reception to discuss banning live exports with MPs and celebrities.
“It was a good day for the animals – nearly 50 MPs attended. I showed photos taken by people at Ramsgate to show how dire conditions are.
“Some were shocked, all were against the trade, and we feel it put the message out there.”
Thanet Green Party added: “Thanet Green Party supports the tireless work of KAALE and we all wish for a time when there will be no more live exports from the port of Ramsgate.”
Live export from Ramsgate
According to Conservative MP Theresa Villiers, who spoke about the issue on the radio today, Environment Secretary Michael Gove is ‘seriously looking’ at banning live export.
She believes the trade makes up such a minor part of farmers’ incomes – according to the National Farmers’ Union, fewer than 20,000 sheep were exported last year – that banning it would have little financial impact.
But sheep farmer Frank Langrish said: “If we end up in a situation where there are tariffs on live animals… there’s no way in the world that you would see sheep farming continue here without that export market.”