Anger as sheep ‘in non-stop transit for 20 hours’ through Ramsgate

Protesters at Ramsgate port on Wednesday night. Picture credit: James Shaughnessy.

Campaigners protesting against live animal exports claim sheep being transported through Ramsgate to Holland travelled for 20 hours non-stop in the latest shipment.

Under EU rules, lorries carrying sheep must stop for at least an hour after 14 hours, but members of Kent Action Against Live Exports (Kaale) say this was well exceeded on Wednesday night, with the animals in transit for more than 20 hours without stopping.

Protesters gathered in Ramsgate to campaign against live exports as two transporters were loaded onto the Joline ship headed for Stellendam.

Sheep in transit in the lorry on Wednesday night. Picture credit: James Shaughnessy.

Yvonne Birchall from Kaale says by the time the ship reached Holland it would have travelled for 20 hours.

Sheep rules are 14 hours, minimum one hours rest on lorry with it stationary, then 14 hours and unload for 24 hours before repeating,” she said.

“Far too long we think but even under those rules they have broken them as time at sea is supposed to count as journey time and not rest time.

Protesters and police at Ramsgate port on Wednesday night. Picture credit: James Shaughnessy.

“Adding in the time travelling to Ramsgate from the north of England, three hours actually being followed and watched by us and the time at the other side before they reach their destination we believe them well out of time.”

Kaale campaigners say this is not the first time EU travel times have been breached.

Last month, some 260 calves being transported from Ramsgate to Spain via Calais were alleged to have been in transit for more than 50 hours.

A spokesman from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said if any welfare regulations are breached, appropriate action is taken.

“Animals deserve respect and care at all stages of their lives, which is why we have consistently said that we will control the export of live farm animals for slaughter once we leave the European Union,” he said.

“APHA takes potential breaches of animal welfare legislation very seriously.”




  1. It costs more to keep the Port open for one or two shipments of live animals. The port should be closed down then no live animals can be shipped from Ramsgate regardless of Eu rules

    • That wouldn’t help the animals, would it? They’d be transported from some other port instead. It’s got nothing to do with Ramsgate.
      If you’re concerned about animal welfare, protest at the beginning of the journey, not at the end when the damage has been done.

  2. And this will continue in extreme heat also. No regard for the animals at all. It’s all about money.

  3. How is this trade even remotely economically viable for just 2 lorries? Does anyone check if anything is going out apart from sheep AND what comes back in with the empty lorries that never seem to be checked?
    I honestly don’t believe that our government will stop live exports even when we come out of the EU. They use that as an excuse but they’ve had ample opportunity to make the trade more difficult by STRICTLY enforcing the current regulations instead of just coming with platitudes. What’s the government getting out of this?

  4. Time to change the atrocities that go on in the name of FARMING!! Farmers are only in it for money remember that people! Don’t give them money by buying meat!

  5. when will ‘appropriate action’ ever be taken? heaven knows we give them enough information yet nothing EVER gets done! Come on people of Thanet ,get to the shipments make your voice heard ,PLEASE

  6. The animals took a rest on boad of the vehicle whilst on the ferry.
    They were provided with water and feed. They did not travel for 20 hrs – they rested for 20 hours. The maximum total journey time, including a rest period is 29 hours plus an additional 2 if it allows them to reach destination. The animals did arrive at destination within that period. Stop telling nonsense.

    • According to the law the time spent on a transporter on a roro ferry whilst at sea does not count as rest. For it to be classed as rest the sheep would have to be on board a lairage ship, where they are in pens with bedding and feed and water provided. The sheep in the article were on a small open deck roro ferry still loaded in transporters. The Joline bobs about and pitches and rolls just in the English channel often with waves breaking over the deck. I cannot imagine the journey that the sheep endured crossing the North Sea to Holland was in any way restful and it certainly broke the law time wise.

  7. I do not know who John is but he has obviously not monitored this trade,as I have ,for the last 20 years. I have worked with sheep and I can assure you that they do feel fear, stress and pain just as any other animal but we close our minds to the cruelty in the name of profit. Shame on you John I hope that you never need compassion at a time in your life when you need someone to care.

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