Green Party Councillor and Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for South Thanet, Ian Driver, says he is “extremely surprised and very disappointed” that the Labour Party’s recent policy statement on animal welfare is silent on the live export of farm animals for slaughter in Europe. Launched last week by shadow Environment Secretary, Maria Eagle Labour: Protecting Animals commits a future Labour government to maintaining the hunting ban, banning wild animals from circuses, ending the badger cull, regulating dog breeding and protecting endangered species across the world, which are all excellent commitments which must be supported. But nowhere does it mention live animal exports.
Said Driver “in the 4 years since live exports began at Ramsgate Port over 200,000 sheep and calves have been exported, in some of the most barbaric and cruel conditions imaginable, to Europe for slaughter. The trade from Ramsgate led to the deaths of 47 sheep at the port in 2013 and the prosecution of the transporters in 2014 for animal cruelty. But unbelievably this industrial scale cruelty and abuse has not registered on Labour’s conscience”.
Driver, is a leading campaigner against live exports from Ramsgate. He faces prosecution at Margate Magistrates Court later this year for taking direct action against the trade at a demonstration in 2014. He says that animal welfare campaigners in Thanet, the RSPCA and Compassion in World Farming have been lobbying the Labour Party over the past 4 years to work to change European rules to outlaw live farm animal exports for the UK to the continent. I’m
saddened that all this lobbying appears to have fallen on deaf ears and has been totally ignored by Labour, especially considering that live exports are taking place in a constituency that they recently held. I'm flabbergasted that Labour has the bare-faced cheek claim it “is the only party to trust on animal welfare” when it turns its back on the appalling and criminal treatment of the farm animals being exported from Ramsgate” and ignores the pleadings of hundreds of local people who have lobbied, signed petitions, turned up to marches and demonstrations demanding an end to this cruel trade. Is it any wonder people are losing faith in Labour.
|Green Party South Thanet PPC Ian Driver Speaking At Live Export Rally Ramsgate November 2014|
|Driver Protesting at Ramsgate Port Gates|