RSPCA to take on legal fight for live export animals

The RSPCA has vowed to fight on for the animals after a High Court judge has indicated he will consider a fresh judicial review application from the RSPCA in the New Year,  concerning the transport  of live animals from the port Ramsgate.

This comes after Thanet District Council lifted its temporary ban on live animal exports out of Ramsgate in November, despite huge opposition from the public and animal welfare organisations alike.

The RSPCA has told the court that the port of Ramsgate still has inadequate facilities to help animals in the event of an emergency as happened on the 12th of September, or disruption to sailings due to very rough weather, as occurred on 21 November.

The RSPCA further notes that Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency are no longer carrying out thorough inspections of the animals at the port.

Having heard the legal arguments, Mr Justice Mailes indicated that he would consider a fresh judicial review application on this issue in the New Year.

Thanet District Council took the decision to close the port to live exports after a horrific incident in September when 47 sheep died.

A High Court judge, Mr Justice Burton, then said in October that the port should reopen pending a judicial review brought by the hauliers against the Council's temporary ban.  

That case was effectively brought to an end at today's hearing.

The RSPCA is today to launch a 'Fighting Fund' to help pay for such legal cases to fight for animals in court.

RSPCA chief executive Gavin Grant said: "We will not step away from this – the battle to end live exports is far from over.

The lack of proper facilities at the port of Ramsgate and the failure  to thoroughly inspect animals as they loaded aboard ship are both unacceptable. This cannot go on.

"We are here for the animals and they deserve their case to be hear in court, to do that we need the public's help. We have a highly professional and successful legal team but going to court is not cheap.

"The RSPCA relies entirely on the public to fund our work and I am certain that they will dig deep and ensure the animals get their day in court," he added.

The RSPCA also urged supporters to contact their local MP to persuade them to attend the House of Commons on Thursday where a debate will beheld on live exports.

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