Thursday, 20 August 2015

Ramsgate Live Animal Exports £2.3 Million Blood Money

According to reports, Thanet Council has been ordered to pay £2.3million compensation to the companies involved in the export of live sheep from the Port of the Ramsgate for slaughter, often cruel and ritualistic, in Europe. I have been campaigning against this trade since it began at Ramsgate in May 2011. I have written and spoken extensively about the medieval  barbarity involved in transporting these animals long distances across land and sea to meet a grisly end.

Some of the companies and individuals involved in this trade have a history of criminality. Johannes Onderwater a Dutch national was convicted 5  or so years ago by Dover magistrate’s court of  secretly transporting live sheep through the port of Dover whilst describing the shipment as frozen meat. In the 1980s Thomas Lomas, a UK national, was gaoled for committing a lucrative criminal fraud involving the transportation of  farm animals. In early 2014 Lomas and his company, Channel Exports Ltd were convicted by Dover magistrate’s  court of breaches of animal welfare regulations which resulted in the destruction of 47 sheep at the Port of Ramsgate in September 2013. Lomas and his company were fined £10,000 and Lomas was handed down a 6 month suspended gaol sentence.
On the back of the death of the 47 sheep Thanet Council rightly suspended further live exports. After 6 weeks this suspension was overturned by the High Court. Today’s announcement sets the compensation for the 6 weeks of lost trade and the  inconvenience caused at £2.3 million plus an award of court costs to the exporters of approximately £300,000. So Thanet Council taxpayers will now have to find £2.6 million which is more than  10% of its annual budget! I have asked for a copy of the High Judgment which hopefully the Council will let me have and I may then be able to provide further details of why the High Court made this extraordinary decision.

One thing which concerns me is that it would have been virtually impossible for the exporters to have lost £2.3million during the six week period in which their activities were suspended. Until the suspension the exporters were only carrying out 2 shipments per week. They must have been  transporting very expensive sheep to justify this level of compensation, or perhaps there was another cargo we know nothing about?  Hopefully  the High Court papers will reveal the truth. Either way I think the Dutch and UK  tax authorities should be alerted  to this court case as it may reveal interesting information about the financial affairs of Onderwater and Lomas.
But what makes me furious is the perverse situation whereby convicted animal welfare abusers are massively compensated for having their cruel and barbaric trade suspended as a consequence of their own neglectful and cruel actions .  In my opinion, this is nothing less than the payment of Blood Money  to animal abusers. It’s a travesty of justice which makes  me so fucking angry. Having said that this ridiculous and totally unfair situation makes me more determined than ever before to fight through peaceful direct action and politically through the UK parliament and the EU to stop this evil and cruel trade once and for all. I hope that you will join me in this campaign.



  1. Well said and Clive and Bob and Iris have proved to be very expensive for us all

  2. Thank you for your compassion, determination and guts Ian. The judgement is obviously flawed. Onderswater and Lomas are beyond evil for the cruelty they inflict on British sheep. The barbaric cruelty continues during long transport to slaughter. We should be responsible for our farm animals welfare through out their lives. ON THE HOOK NOT THE HOOF. Live exports aren't necessary.

  3. Did the council not seek legal advice before they imposed the bans? if not then the chief exec and her team at the time were negligent. if so then they should ask for heir legal fees back.