Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Ramsgate Live Animal Exports: £11 Million Reasons Why I'm Backing Brexit

Former Green Party councillor and 2015 South Thanet Parliamentary candidate, Ian Driver,  has  announced that he will defy his party’s policy of remaining in the EU and campaign instead for Brexit.  
Driver’s announcement  follows news that  Thanet District Council (TDC) has paid out almost £6million in compensation and legal fees following its 2012  decision to suspend the export of live farm animals from the Port of Ramsgate.
According to figures released on Thursday (5th May)  £4,692,630 in compensation payments have been made  to  companies involved in the export of live farm animals from the port of Ramsgate.  A further £454,220 has been spent by TDC on its own legal fees, bringing the total to £5,146,500.

It is understood that TDC has yet to settle a number of outstanding compensation claims related to the suspension of live animal exports from Ramsgate port which could take the final  compensation costs  to over £6million.

It is estimated that further  £5 million, at least,  of taxpayers  money has been spent on the costs of: 

  • deploying DEFRA  Animal and Plant Health Agency  (APHA) officers to supervise each the of 115 shipments which have taken from Ramsgate and Dover since 2010 involving  over 350,000 animals facing long journeys of several days,  in cramped conditions with limited access to food and water
  • the costs of policing the 100 plus lawful protests at the ports of Ramsgate and Dover which take place at every shipment; the costs to TDC of  employing additional security staff whenever there is a shipment;
  • the costs of preparing and holding at least 20 largely unsuccessful,  court cases related to  live animal exports which have taken place since 2011.
  • the costs of  police surveillance  against anti  live animal export campaigners. At least one of whom, Ian Driver, is now, because his of activities  included on the  Polices’ so-called  Domestic Extremist Database (1).

This takes the total costs to UK taxpayers of supporting a trade’ which most people oppose on the grounds of animal cruelty, but which is supported by the EU, to at least £11milion over the past 5 years.

The suspension of live animal exports from Ramsgate Port, which led to the astronomic compensation payments  was imposed,  by then then Labour controlled,  TDC in September 2012 after 47 sheep, judged to be unfit to travel, had to be destroyed at the  port.

 At a High Court Hearing in December 2013 Mr Justice Birrs declared that the suspension “was an unjustifiable  breach of Article 35 of the Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union” which “breached a fundamental element of the rules governing free trade in the EU”. The judge concluded  that “in my judgment the council is liable to damages to the claimants”.

Driver, one  of the founders of the campaign against live animal exports from Ramsgate said   “I’m astounded by the latest revelations. It seems likely that that the final bill for TDCs suspension of  live exports from Ramsgate could easily  top £6million!  That’s  £45 for every man woman and child in living in Thanet”. This appalling and unfair situation is a direct result of our loss of  law making powers to the EU.”

“But what makes me most angry is that some of those  who have  benefited from the  £4.6 million compensation payments are  likely to be the same people  who were convicted at Dover Magistrates Court in 2014 of animal cruelty offences related to the events which led to  the suspension of live exports from  Ramsgate in 2012”.

“In all conscience I cannot vote to remain in the EU when it actively endorses industrial scale animal cruelty by permitting this medieval trade and then rewarding the perpetrators of  that trade with compensation payments akin to blood money when its interrupted because animals died in transit. Furthermore,  EU rules have forced British state to deploy, at massive public expense, thousands of police officers to enable a trade,  most people don’t approve of, to take place,  and some of those people who have campaigned against it now find themselves with criminal records  and  classified as domestic extremists. 


  1. I can understand the feelings and frustrations of anyone witnessing any aspect of this Unnecessary trade in Live animals for religious slaughter. And politics has played its full hand in that . UK Politics and European Politics, share the joint blame in this. Currently The Dutch Livestock Transporter submits a Journey log approval to DEFRA( WIT) Welfare in Transit. But that journey log bears little relationship to what actually happens to the livestock en route. As the Livestock Transporters claim that a DUTCH Court ruling based upon government revenue claims allows them to use the Dutch "Interbove" ruling . This ruling it is claimed , but so far I have seen neither any DUTCH or UK regulatory authority confirmation that under this ruling the Channel crossing using a Latvian registered Barge, permits NONE of crossing time to be counted towards total journey time and again channel crosssing is permitted to be counted as Animal rest time. Under the EU regulations adopted by the UK any time on a RO-RO barge is not permitted to be counted as Animal rest time. And all RO-RO barge time is counted in total towards journey time. WIT (UK) will not authorise any Journey Log submitted penned outside of the EU/UK regulations. Hence the Transporters submit an approval under that EU/UK regulation, but the Journey undertaken by them differs significantly from the data upon which the UK regulatory authority approved the journey. WIT have indicated that if the Livestock Transporter submitted in the UK what he intended to do en route then that journey would not be approved. Start from there and follow it with much other questionable data from these transporters and you in my view have significant system abuse involving live animals . The Politics of the UK has not in my view ensured that the Journey Log approval by DEFRA/WIT is complied with , in fact it is rubber stamping the JL knowing that it is not being conformed with en route . Leaving the EU will not stop this trade but will in theory allow much less control over the complete logistics operation . AS NOW.
    It is time to find out what is actually happening to the livestock throughout. the other areas which need looking at include HGV excess driving hours and the actual destinations and position of the transporters . My own view is that Transporters have claimed to be at an unloading destination when their Transporter is at the same time recorded as being elsewhere . Time to stop pushing for Brexit , but to find out what is actually happening throughout this Transport operation. And do not trust any of the politicians who claim they may arrive at different UK Port operation regulations. The money has been neatly pocketed by the Transporter companies and nobody has looked closely enough and what Politics has not been doing in the UK. Am I suggesting that this operation has been carried out illegally ? in part yes, and in part using loopholes and miss information. All my view only .

    1. Roger Interesting points I'd be very happy to discuss this with you in more detail. My e-mail is perhaps we can talk

  2. have the police taken you off the extremist database and provided a copy of your file to you?