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Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Ramsgate Live Animal Exports: £11 Million Reasons Why I'm Backing Brexit

Former Green Party councillor and 2015 South Thanet Parliamentary candidate, Ian Driver,  has  announced that he will defy his party’s policy of remaining in the EU and campaign instead for Brexit.  
Driver’s announcement  follows news that  Thanet District Council (TDC) has paid out almost £6million in compensation and legal fees following its 2012  decision to suspend the export of live farm animals from the Port of Ramsgate.
According to figures released on Thursday (5th May)  £4,692,630 in compensation payments have been made  to  companies involved in the export of live farm animals from the port of Ramsgate.  A further £454,220 has been spent by TDC on its own legal fees, bringing the total to £5,146,500.

It is understood that TDC has yet to settle a number of outstanding compensation claims related to the suspension of live animal exports from Ramsgate port which could take the final  compensation costs  to over £6million.

It is estimated that further  £5 million, at least,  of taxpayers  money has been spent on the costs of: 

  • deploying DEFRA  Animal and Plant Health Agency  (APHA) officers to supervise each the of 115 shipments which have taken from Ramsgate and Dover since 2010 involving  over 350,000 animals facing long journeys of several days,  in cramped conditions with limited access to food and water
  • the costs of policing the 100 plus lawful protests at the ports of Ramsgate and Dover which take place at every shipment; the costs to TDC of  employing additional security staff whenever there is a shipment;
  • the costs of preparing and holding at least 20 largely unsuccessful,  court cases related to  live animal exports which have taken place since 2011.
  • the costs of  police surveillance  against anti  live animal export campaigners. At least one of whom, Ian Driver, is now, because his of activities  included on the  Polices’ so-called  Domestic Extremist Database (1).

This takes the total costs to UK taxpayers of supporting a trade’ which most people oppose on the grounds of animal cruelty, but which is supported by the EU, to at least £11milion over the past 5 years.

The suspension of live animal exports from Ramsgate Port, which led to the astronomic compensation payments  was imposed,  by then then Labour controlled,  TDC in September 2012 after 47 sheep, judged to be unfit to travel, had to be destroyed at the  port.

 At a High Court Hearing in December 2013 Mr Justice Birrs declared that the suspension “was an unjustifiable  breach of Article 35 of the Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union” which “breached a fundamental element of the rules governing free trade in the EU”. The judge concluded  that “in my judgment the council is liable to damages to the claimants”.

Driver, one  of the founders of the campaign against live animal exports from Ramsgate said   “I’m astounded by the latest revelations. It seems likely that that the final bill for TDCs suspension of  live exports from Ramsgate could easily  top £6million!  That’s  £45 for every man woman and child in living in Thanet”. This appalling and unfair situation is a direct result of our loss of  law making powers to the EU.”

“But what makes me most angry is that some of those  who have  benefited from the  £4.6 million compensation payments are  likely to be the same people  who were convicted at Dover Magistrates Court in 2014 of animal cruelty offences related to the events which led to  the suspension of live exports from  Ramsgate in 2012”.

“In all conscience I cannot vote to remain in the EU when it actively endorses industrial scale animal cruelty by permitting this medieval trade and then rewarding the perpetrators of  that trade with compensation payments akin to blood money when its interrupted because animals died in transit. Furthermore,  EU rules have forced British state to deploy, at massive public expense, thousands of police officers to enable a trade,  most people don’t approve of, to take place,  and some of those people who have campaigned against it now find themselves with criminal records  and  classified as domestic extremists. 

1 comment:

  1. have the police taken you off the extremist database and provided a copy of your file to you?