Ipswich: End of live animal exports at port as owners suspend the trade

EXPORTS of live sheep from Ipswich port have been stopped.

The animal charity said Associated British Ports bosses had agreed to close the port to sheep exports because it would be not have the necessary facilities in an emergency.

A shipment of live sheep through the port last Friday attracted a major protest – and there had been fears that there could be two or three shipments a week over the autumn.

However after talks between RSPCA chief executive Gavin Grant and ABP officials, the decision was taken to suspend the shipments.

He said: “I am delighted that ABP have suspended this dire trade. They are taking their responsibilities seriously to the animals.

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“ABP have acknowledged to the RSPCA that, like Ramsgate, their port did not have suitable facilities to help the animals should an emergency arise. Sadly, we saw the unacceptable suffering in Ramsgate in just such an emergency.”

The week before the Ipswich shipment 45 sheep died at Ramsgate – two drowned after falling in the sea and 43 had to be put down because they were injured.

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Ipswich MP Ben Gummer welcomed the news. He said: “This shows that the port was prepared to listen to the concerns of a respected organisation like the RSPCA and were persuaded that there were potential dangers for the animals.”

Borough council leader and Labour parliamentary candidate David Ellesmere said: “This is the best possible news. I welcome the fact that the town will no longer be associated with this trade.”

ABP said: “We can confirm that there are no arrangements in place for further shipments.”

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