Kent

Ramsgate live animal export ban backed by Craig Mackinlay MP

Craig Mackinlay
Image caption Craig Mackinlay said local people wanted to see the ban at Ramsgate

A law calling for councils to be able to ban live animal exports from ports they own has been backed by a Kent MP.

Craig Mackinlay, the MP for South Thanet, has introduced the bill in the House of Commons following the reintroduction of live animal exports at the Port of Ramsgate.

The exports were banned by Thanet District Council in 2012 after the deaths of more than 40 sheep.

However, this was overturned by the High Court in 2014.

Two sheep drowned at Ramsgate in September 2012, and 44 had to be destroyed, after a lorry was stopped at the port by animal health inspectors.

Mr Mackinlay said the local community was "unified" in its support for a ban.

'Legitimate trade'

He said: "There's a lot of activists across Kent that don't want to see this trade through Ramsgate Port.

"So I think this really does hit what local people want and that's why I brought it forward."

However, critics have said giving councils that own ports the ability to ban exports was unfair.

Frank Langrish, from the National Farmers Union, said: "If you ban livestock from going through, what's to stop them banning other products?

"This is legitimate trade, legal trade. The more important thing is that animals should travel the shortest distance in the quickest time."

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