More than 160 protesters gather as lorry of calves arrives for live export from Ramsgate

Live export protest

Some 160 protesters joined a demonstration in Ramsgate against live animal exports yesterday (November 8).

Members of Kent Action Against Live Exports and other groups gathered at the Royal Harbour Approach  roundabout to protest as a lorry arrived at Ramsgate Port carrying calves bound for Calais aboard the vessel Jolene.

The  Irish registered lorry of calves arrived at the port at around 6:45pm.

Demonstrator Vanessa Green said: “The driver had his face covered. The calves were eager to reach the viewing hatched in the lorry, to suckle on the fingers of the protesters, and to drink from water bottles.”

Compassion in World Farming says the unweaned Scottish calves are now coming through Ramsgate after P&O Ferries stopped taking the shipments.

A statement from the group says: “This new calf export route demonstrates the urgent need for a UK-wide ban on live exports for both slaughter and fattening.

“It is clear that, when one export route closes, another will pick up the trade. Nothing short of a ban will stop the cruelty of live exports for good.”

Thanet council – at the time with a Labour ruling group -banned exports from Ramsgate after 47 sheep died at the port in September 2012 but they were forced to make a U-turn by the High Court.

TDC has since paid more than £5.1 million in compensation to individuals and companies involved in the export of live farm animals from the port of Ramsgate for loss of trade.

The claims followed the High Court ruling in December 2013 that TDC’s ban was unlawful and in breach of EU free trade regulations.

Around 40 police officers attended yesterday’s demonstration and two arrests were made.

A Kent Police spokesman said: “Kent Police officers attended Ramsgate Harbour  in order to facilitate lawful trade and the right to a peaceful protest.

“A 70-year-old man from Broadstairs was arrested on suspicion of causing an unlawful obstruction of the highway. He was given words of advice and released without charge.

“A 21-year-old man from New Romney was arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and issued with a fixed penalty notice.”


  1. How was the banning of live exports through the port in breach of EU free trade regulations? I believe the judge was wrong to say that and award damages against TDC. Is there anything in that agreement that says LIVE animals should go through the port? If not then they were within their rights to ban stop it, just like companies like P&O decided to stop it using their ships. I believe free trade regulations would not be breached if slaughtered animals were exported so what regulation states they must be live. If there is such a regulation then it should be changed as it is cruel for animals to be shipped around in this way if the end product will be slaughter in any case. This shipment came from Ireland so has already been many hours including crossing the Irish Sea. The calves are disorientated and dehydrated as it was obvious to tell. They are expected to cross the English Channel to the continent and many more hours of distress, and maybe then for cruel halal slaughter.
    This is completely not in the best interest of these animals and needs to be stopped by Parliament soon.
    I am not one of the protestors, but peaceful protesting brings this to the attention of all whilst not distressing the animals further still.

    • Alas this type of judgement has been used before. In the 1990s this is what happened when Compassion in World Farming tried to get the trade banned. Possibly after Brexit things will change although Michael Gove seems to be going down the usual political route of raising hopes, then coming up with half answers.
      Join Compassion in World Farming, a unique, ethical, accurate, charity who have a tremendous record of opposing factory farming in all its ghastly guises. Their latest victory a couple of weeks ago was getting the European Parliament to ban the ad hoc administration of antibiotics to incarcerated animals who are not even sick!

    • What a ridiculous comment. Just because you don’t eat meat doesn’t mean there should be no meat or dairy industries. Unbelievable!!!

      • The only way to stop this extreme, barbaric cruelty is to stop eating meat and dairy. Whilst the consumer demands it the greedy farmers will supply the “product”. The fact that they are live, sentient creatures sadly doesn’t enter into their way of thinking, it’s all about money and profit. A very sad state of affairs.

      • You don’t seem to have a grasp of the situation!
        Calves wouldn’t be transported if it weren’t for selfish humans who drink his mothers breast milk.

  2. Whether a person is vegan or not, the treatment of cattle is despicable. Live exports is one of many aspects of the animal industry that needs to stop.
    As a vegan I believe this is the only way forward, for the animals, for the planet and for the health and emotional wellbeing of humans.

  3. It matters not whether you are vegan or not. This trade in very young live animals over such distances for incarceration for white veal production in Spain is Animal Abuse. It is a disgrace that UK Government and the Politics supporting this trade, continue to permit it.
    It is claimed it is Legal and cannot be stopped under EU regulations.But those approving it in Government the Michael Gove DEFRA group, deliberately fail to recognise the second part of the governing Regulations for HGV transportation . Permitted Driver hours and mandatory required rest periods under EU 561 .
    It is not legally possible to carry out even the first part of this journey from loading in Scotland to Calais using ONE driver. But the loophole of the Channel crossing on that old Latvian Barge, which on thursday this week in itself took 6 hours against the headwinds over the channel. Under EU 561 Rest for the driver has to be without “obligation”and “uninterrupted”. With livestock onboard that is not possible, there is always a Driver obligation .
    DO the authorities know this YES they have been advised both APHA ( Michael Gove) and DVSA (CEO) do they do anything — Nothing to date The Usual Politics while the Animal abuse continues.
    Failure to comply with the driver regulations is a very serious offence . IT is a breach of road safety, designed for the protection
    and safety of other road users.
    Get on with it Government and your agencies start monitoring what you are approving against all the relevant Regulations applicable throughout Europe . Not just those that suit your Politics and the NFU. YOU UK approve these shipments and receive the returned completed Journey logs. I know some of the paperwork gets falsified, or does not get returned or mysteriously gets destroyed in office fires.
    But this trade is obscene and carried out for PROFIT and Politics and in the case of sheep for religion. Start thinking of how to humanely manage your waste products within the UK and offering Humaneness and some period of quality life . It is not only vegans who find this trade unnecessary, I believe the majority who come into close contact with it share the same view. The regular ferry companies in the UK have now declined to accept it, even under Government pressure . It is now reduced to shipment on totally unsuitable ancient open decked rust buckets.

    • Vegans are the only ones who have the right to condemn this trade.
      Why? Because if you eat meat and dairy you are complicit in the exploitation and death of animals.
      The calves are transported because of dairy!! What part of that can you not comprehend?

      • Irene Duncan. It’s your kind of comment that alienates people from each other. We need all the help we can get to protest. Everyone has the moral responsibility to condemn cruelty and defend innocent creatures. Please re-think your divisive stance and encourage as many people to protest as possible.

        • Quite. Personal dietary choices should not interfere with trying to get a better deal for animals. Though with all the evidence about the environment, and the destruction of wildlife habitat, I think we all have a duty to move towards veganism. I admire those who have made it!

  4. Anyone who wants to do so has a right to condemn, or even just disapprove of, this trade.I eat meat, I eat and drink dairy products- but I think live export should be banned unless it is for breeding purposes.

    • I totally disagree, if you eat meat, dairy etc. you are actually causing the problem. Breeding purposes? The only reason these poor animals are used for breeding is for human greed so that farmers can get rich and humans can eat them. Their suffering is beyond belief and mankind does not have this right to abuse them in this way!

      • I don’t quite see what in my previous posting Sarah Carrs is disagreeing with. My right to have an opinion? Animals aren’t just bred for eating, are they? (Rhetorical question, obviously.)

  5. Just my opinion. But where ever the end destinations is of the lovely animals is I find it hard that those that need the calf one can’t buy it processed and if not can they not have a dairy farm there and breed the own cows??? This is so barbaric there has to be another way

  6. it doesn’t seem at all obvious to me that nobody except vegans should have a right to criticize the live export trade. Could someone please explain the logical argument which results in that conclusion? Thanks.

  7. It’s not about being vegan or vegetarian it’s about the cruel way that the calves are treated I have now seen 2 lorries carrying calves using the port at Ramsgate it makes me cross seeing how these poor animals are treated they to have feelings they looked dehydrated frightened it makes no sense to me the suffering they go through come to the next demonstration & see it with your own eyes its so wrong

  8. Those poor babies in the video were so scared and thirsty, why would someone let this keep happening? That is so cruel to do to those poor animals… they have feelings just like we do…

  9. Thank you for being there for the voiceless.
    We must ponder the costs involved here. The OST of the calves at the market, the lorry, the driver, the lorry fuel, the fuel for the Joline, the port fees in Calais and Ramsgate. The wages of the crew. All for ONE lorry of poor calves. Where is the profit????Something else is definitely going on here…

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