Protests as live animal exports resume at Ramsgate

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Media captionThanet District Council ordered the suspension of exports following the death of sheep in September

Protesters have been demonstrating in Ramsgate where live animal exports have resumed after a temporary suspension was overturned by the High Court.

RSPCA inspectors have been checking the condition of the animals at the Port of Ramsgate.

Thanet District Council ordered the suspension when 45 sheep died at the port on 12 September, however three Dutch companies appealed.

The authority is expected to launch an appeal against the High Court decision.

About 40 protesters waved placards and banners condemning the export of live animals as the first shipment passed through on Friday.

'Not morally right'

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.

"They [the firms] may have a legal right but it is not morally right. It is totally indefensible."

Last September 43 sheep found in a lorry stopped at the port had to be destroyed.

One had a broken leg, another was so sick it had to be put down, 41 were severely lame and none of the animals could reach their drinkers in the vehicle, the RSPCA said.

In a separate incident, a loading area floor collapsed while sheep were taken off a lorry.

Six fell in the water and four were rescued by RSPCA officers, but two drowned.

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