We’ve lodged a claim in the High Court to seek judicial review of the arrangements operated by Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AVHLA) for the approval and supervision of live animal exports through the port of Ramsgate.
Fighting on for the animals
We vowed to fight on for the animals after Thanet District Council last month lifted its temporary ban on live exports at Ramsgate, 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.
Thanet Council 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.
We are bringing these new legal proceedings because we believe AHVLA is acting unlawfully.
They are failing to require the exporters to use ports with appropriate facilities and also in failing to impose sailing restrictions on the MV Joline to ensure that animals are not injured or caused undue harm whilst being transported by sea.
We also believe that changes to the inspection regime introduced by AHVLA following the September incident are also unlawful in failing to provide proper checks at the port to safeguard animal welfare.
Our chief executive Gavin Grant said:
The animals have no voice and no choice. We will not walk away from their suffering in this vile and unnecessary trade.
The lack of facilities at or near the port to deal with emergencies, the use of an old tank transporter to ship animals across the Channel in rough weather and the failure to thoroughly inspect animals at the port are all unacceptable. This cannot go on.
The animals deserve their day in court. We need the public's help to make that happens. I know people will dig to support of legal fighting fund to get justice for the animals.
Recently, in a House of Commons debate MPs of all parties supported calls for a full review of the animal welfare impact of the live exports. The High Court will decide early in the New Year whether it will hear our case.
Support the Fighting Fund
We have launched a 'Fighting Fund' to help pay for such legal cases to fight for animals in court.
To donate to the RSPCA Animal Fighting Fund please:
- To give £3 now text FIGHT to 88010
(Texts cost £3 + 1 standard network rate message)
- To donate via phone, please call 0300 123 8181 now
(24 hours a day)
- To donate online, please visit: www.rspca.org.uk/urgent