Protest planned at Ramsgate as live animal exports resume

Live animal exports Picture credit: James Shaughnessy.

Campaigners against live animal exports will hold a protest in Ramsgate on Thursday (June 18) as the transport of animals through the port resumes.

Two lorries carrying sheep are expected to arrive in Ramsgate at 11am ready to board vessel Joline.

Kent Action Against Live Exports (KAALE) will be there from 10am and the sailing time has been shared across social media. The group has asked everyone who plans to attend to maintain social distance where possible and wear face masks to protect against covid 19.

Protestors will gather at the Royal Harbour Approach roundabout.

The shipments are expected to take place regularly due to the Eid Festival at the end of July.

A KAALE spokesperson said: “The animals are taken on long journeys, often in intolerable heat, to face slaughter or further fattening on a veal farm which is totally unnecessary and cruel.

“The protests are essential in order to obtain video evidence of the condition of the animals and  to raise awareness of their plight as we move closer to the ban on the trade which has been promised by Government for the end of this year.”

Live export is the commercial transport of live farm animals across national borders. The expansion of the trade has been supported by the introduction of purpose-built ships which carry large numbers of animals. There has been strong criticism of the industry on animal rights grounds.

In 2018 lorries of unweaned Scottish calves also started coming through Ramsgate after P&O Ferries stopped taking the shipments.

Photo Gerard Bane

In 2018, Kent Police attended 15 live export protests at Ramsgate Port. In January to August 2019, Kent Police attended 23 protests.

The policing of live export protests at Ramsgate Port is treated as normal business, with no associated costs recorded or attributed.

However, there are some overtime costs that result from attending the protests.

  • April 2017 to 31 March 2018 were £5,764.
  • April 2018 to 31 March 2019 were £14,215.
  • April 2019 to 12 August 2019 were £5,320.

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

Joline Photo Mark Stanford

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.

Compassion in World Farming is among the organisations campaigning for an end to the live export trade. The organsation says long distance live animal transport frequently results in:

Live Export protests Photo Rebecca Gordon Nesbitt
  • Overcrowding – Animals are crammed into vehicles. Many are injured or trampled to death.
  • Exhaustion and dehydration – They can be in transit for days, suffering extremes of temperature and often without sufficient food, water or rest. Many die as a result.
  • Pain and stress – Animals are sentient beings and feel pain and stress just like we do.
  • Illness and disease – The spread of diseases across the globe – such as bluetongue virus, foot and mouth disease, avian influenza and swine fever – can be directly attributable to the live transportation of farm animals.
  • A lack of legal protection – When animals are exported from Europe to countries outside the EU they leave behind them all the legal protection they once received. This means they can face terrible abuse during transport and at the time of slaughter.
  • Unexpected issues – in addition to routine suffering, long distance live transport can also result in fires, delays or sinking of livestock ships causing the suffering and death of large numbers of animals.

Find out more from KAALE here


  1. And what on Earth has it to do with the EU? Do you think farmers will just stop producing sheep and cattle?
    And, if you want to protest, do it here the sheep or cattle are loaded, at the start of the journey, not half way through it.

  2. So long as there is no repeat of the expensive debacle that the council of time got the area into let them protest. Its a matter for national legislation not local politics.

  3. 100% agree with the protesters. Live animal exports are inhumane and promote unnecessary suffering.

    Animal cruelty is disgusting and anyone who condones the suffering of animals is subhuman in my opinion.

  4. This cruel trade could stop overnight if the French would allow us to export meat on the hook. The last time we tried to export meat on the hook. The French farmers set fire to it. Unfortunately at he moment it is a legal trade. If P&O was not to scared to carry it on their ferries, because of the Protesters. It would only be a 90 minute crossing, instead of 8 hours on a tank carrier. The way to get this trade stopped is talk to your MPs and not wasting Police time and money upsetting the poor animals at the port banging and shouting, and making the lorries going round and back to the roundabout . If the Council could get it stopped they would. If you watch some of the protesters YouTube clips, it is only a matter of time before one of them gets killed. If any of them have ever been in a Lorry, and seen how many blind spots they have. They would stay well clear. At the moment I think they have only lost a bike under a lorry. At least one good that might come out of this shipment is. Is it might stop a certain person from going on about getting rid a plaque that has been in Broadstairs for over a hundred years.

  5. We have our share of hypocrites regarding this. The sheep are in between a rock and and a hard place. What would you like Mr & Mrs Sheep, would you like to be killed now or go to France to be fattened up and then be killed. It’s not much of a choice I know. However most of us eat meat we don’t all eat just eat grass. With these protester they would protest if it was teddy bears.

  6. Vile disgusting trade that certainly has no place in a civilised society. Torture before slaughter. Anyone decent is against this!

  7. If animals reared in Britain are going to be slaughtered, then they should be killed in local abattoirs, not sent abroad. The more local abattoirs there are, the less distance the animals will have to travel.

    Animals transported overseas for breeding purposes are a different matter. No serious breeder wants unhealthy, injured animals.

  8. Totally agree Marva before the EU they all went to be slaughtered here no problem a lot of British farmers have lost out. No good campaigner saying what’s it got to do with the EU.

    • My guess is it will get worse when we leave the EU without any trade agreements! I agree, I used to protest when the trucks arrived in Ramsgate, but stopped because I could not stand to see the poor creatures eyes! It would be better to protest outside the addresses of the people making money from this vile trade!

  9. Yet very few people say a thing about slaughter practices that are allowed to be in breach of normal uk regulation on the grounds of religion and to top it off firms are happy to use it for us all to eat. Where are the animal rights protesters for the animals killed in the name of religion, or does perceived discrimination trump animal welfare?

    • Good point. The animal welfare and even animal rights groups are so concerned about accusations of racism that they are not vocal enough about non-stun slaughter. Scotland for animals and the animal welfare party are however. It’s all ablout con enience and money when it comes to halal meat. It’s everywhere.

  10. so there you all were,standing outside clapping for front line workers, now you are all going to meet to protest,probably not keeping 2 metres apart, putting pressure on the nhs, using up valuable police resources,shouting abuse at the truck drivers,the same drivers who were probably delivering your food to the supermarkets, while at the same time scaring the living daylights out of the same animals you all say you are worried about. the french farmers won’t allow fresh meat to be transported into france, which is why the animals have to be taken over alive.

  11. Jr I am glad finally somebody agrees with me on this these finaatics who love the EU that much said to me that had nothing to do with it That’s why animals travel this way.we should not export to the EU we produce enough to feed our own nations.

  12. your all highly sad people bitching over a online post get a life I bet u all love a sunday roast so leave them to bring my dinner over

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