After the death of 45 sheep Thanet Council’s ban on animal exports at Ramsgate, opposed by the NFU, has been overturned by the High Court acting for 3 Dutch companies. Live exports have ceased at Ipswich but they may resume or find an alternative port.

Live exports from Ipswich have now been suspended following an extraordinary meeting of the board of ABP Ports, who own the port of Ipswich.

Compassion in World Farming, the RSPCA and local campaigners put sustained pressure on the ports owners since it allowed a shipment of sheep to leave from Ipswich on the 21st of September.

ABP have cited lack of adequate facilities to handle the trade as the reason for the suspension.

Compassion supporters responded to a call for action by sending the port owners over forty thousand emails asking them to refuse further consignments.

Dil Peeling, Director of Public Affairs at Compassion in World Farming says:

“We are delighted that the owners of ABP ports have listened to this emphatic wave of public opinion and are refusing to let exports continue from Ipswich at this time.

“However, this is currently only a suspension and exports could still resume from this port. There is also a distinct possibility that exporters will seek an alternative port as they did following the previous suspension at Ramsgate.

“Although this trade now appears to be in its death throes, Compassion, along with the RSPCA, will continue campaigning on this issue until live exports from the UK are ended once and for all.”

Thanet District Council suspended exports in September following the death of 45 sheep at Ramsgate. The exporters responded by requesting a Judicial Review into the Council’s decision. Earlier this week they were granted a High Court injunction against the suspension until the Judicial Review is concluded, forcing the Council to allow exports to resume immediately.

Thanet councillor Ian Driver said: "Any export of live animals is a disgusting thing and should be stopped wherever it happens. It really is a tragedy that the wishes of Thanet council have been overridden by a judge."

The Council may appeal against this decision. About 40 protesters waved placards and banners condemning the export of live animals as the first shipment passed through.