2012 Last updated at 20:51 GMT Two arrests as live exports lorry stopped at
Two lorry drivers have been arrested in Kent after
their vehicle carrying four tiers of more than 500 live sheep was declared
unfit to cross the Channel.
The lorry, which was found to have
faults, was stopped at the Port of Ramsgate and the animals were moved to a
temporary holding pen.
The RSPCA said
two sheep were put down, two died in an accident and 30 may have to be
Two sheep, one with a broken leg, were put down. Another
41 severely lame sheep will be shot, the RSPCA said.
after the sheep were loaded into an area where the floor collapsed.
Six sheep fell into water and four were rescued by RSPCA officers.
RSPCA chief executive Gavin Grant
has called for an immediate suspension of the live animal exports from
He and Laura Sandys, Thanet South MP, will meet government
ministers over the issue on Thursday.
Mr Grant said: "We told the
port authorities right from the start that they did not have the facilities
to handle live exports safely.
sheep were unloaded into a holding pen while the hauliers looked for another
"The RSPCA has been warning that a significant welfare
incident like this could lead to tragedy for the animals and now it has."
He said the charity had fought against this trade for well over 100
"If meat needs to go to the continent then it should be on
the hook, not on the hoof, and today cruelly illustrates that this appalling
trade needs to cease immediately," he added.
Ms Sandys said she was appalled at the "disgusting"
treatment of the sheep.
She said: "This is totally unacceptable and
I have taken this up with the minister and secured a meeting with him for
She added: "I will bring up our grave concerns about this
trade in general but our great shock at this particular event.
is the second time a transportation from Northamptonshire has been
In a separate incident, 600 sheep were forced to
spend 24 hours on a transporter after its tyre burst and the animals had to
be driven back to Northampton because there were no facilities in Kent for
them to be removed, fed and watered.
That incident led Thanet
council to write to the Environment Secretary with calls to suspend
shipments because of a lack of facilities.
Council leader Clive Hart
made five requests including establishing formal resting pens as a matter of
urgency, allowing RSPCA officers to inspect lorries transporting live
animals, and authorising the RSPCA to check ventilation and water systems.
According to the RSPCA, Ramsgate is the only British port currently
being used for shipping animals abroad for further fattening and slaughter.