Friday, 14 September 2012

Thanet Labour delivers on animal rights

From Cllr Michelle Fenner

When the Live Animal Exports re-started in May 2011 at Ramsgate Port, we were in opposition at Thanet District Council and we expressed our repulsion of the trade by putting a motion to Council to seek all legal avenues in order to stop it.This motion was agreed unanimously. This was our first victory.

When Labour became the ruling administration of TDC we vowed we would continue the fight against the trade, using the legal framework and showing a zero tolerance of any infringement of the welfare of animals.

Our rigorous action and determination meant that the lorries were inspected very thoroughly, as they should. It then became apparent that on several occasions the lorries or the animals were unfit for further travel.

This led to our decision as TDC Cabinet to suspend the trade in live animal exports out of Ramsgate Port on the ground that it does not have adequate facilities to care for the animals and that there is no control post nearby to take them.

The UK Government, as the Competent Authority under the EU Regulation 2005/1, is responsible for setting up such a control post but, so far, they have not complied with this requirement, in spite of a promise they made in July 2011.

The suspension of this awful trade by the Labour administration of TDC shows that we take our responsibility seriously and that we are not afraid of taking the necessary actions, using the legal framework to pursue our aims.

We stood for election on our Manifesto which stated that we would defend the rights of animals. We fought for this to happen when we were in Opposition and we are delivering now that we are the ruling administration.


  1. Peter, in recent months a cross-party working group was set up to establish a course of action and prior to TDC's suspension of the trade from the port of Ramsgate due to animal welfare concerns we have previously called on the UK Government to assist us in resolving these issues.

    Laura Sandys has been supportive of pushing for the banning of live animal exports, taking it to the European Commission and to Parliament, so it is fair this is recognised.

    However, this blog article was written to reflect the fact that it is the Labour administration at TDC who have used the legal framework to do all we can to halt this awful trade.

    Whatever political party we belong to, we have all had a role to play in bringing these issues to wider public attention.