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Don’t allow animals to suffer needlessly: Stop Transport Nightmare

June 22, 2013 10:51 PM
By Chesterfield Liberal Democrats

Julia Cambridge, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesperson for Chesterfield, is issuing a call to action to promote the humane treatment of live animals at the Port of Dover.

She said: 'Animal welfare is something which concerns us all, or at least it should. I am not only concerned that animals are transported in a safe and humane way within the UK, but especially when exported to countries. Without the intervention of expert groups like the RSPCA, we cannot be sure that even basic comfort levels are being respected.'

The RSPCA has started an email campaign to persuade officials to allow RSPCA inspectors into the Port of Dover. So far the Dover Harbour Board has failed to respond RSPCA requests for access.

As a passionate supporter of animal rights, Julia Cambridge is foursquare behind the RSPCA. She said: 'When live animals were being shipped from Ramsgate last year, RSPCA inspectors were there making sure the laws were followed. But now live animal exports have resumed in Dover, where RSPCA inspectors are prevented from making sure the animals are treated according to UK and EU regulations.'

She added, 'We need to make our voices heard all the way in Dover, that RSPCA inspectors must be allowed to come in and make sure these animals are receiving humane treatment and by emailing the Chief Executive of Dover, and asking for inspections prior to transportation, we can all put pressure on the administration to put animals first.'

Live animal transportThe RSPCA have reported on their website: Almost all farm animals will be transported at some point in their lives. Some animals are transported to different areas of the country or to different farms or buildings to fit in with the changing seasons or their stages of growth. Some farm animals are also transported to livestock markets to be sold, and most are eventually transported to an abattoir (slaughterhouse) to be slaughtered/killed.

If animal welfare is not a priority during live transport, there can be a high risk of animal suffering. The handling during loading onto and unloading from vehicles can be stressful, and during transport animals may be faced with strange sights, movements, noises, smells and unfamiliar animals. Heat stress, lack of good ventilation and long periods without food, water or rest can add to the welfare problems.

We believe that live transportation must be kept to a minimum. Animals should be slaughtered close to the farms where they were reared and long-distance transportation of livestock for slaughter should be replaced with a 'meat carcass-only' trade. During transport, higher welfare standards should be used and the animals looked after by competent and caring staff.

We are working in a number of different ways to improve the conditions in which all animals are transported.

Those wishing to participate in the campaign can visit the RSPCA website (click here) and send a message to the Dover Harbour Board that RSPCA inspectors must be allowed access to the port so that animal welfare is protected.