5 June 1998

Ferry funds flow in

FUNDS for the Farmers Ferry, a dedicated live export operation, are beginning to flow, despite initial confusion over where cash donations should be sent.

Earlier this week, the ferry organisers were thrown into confusion when Barclays Bank said it had not agreed to take any organising role in the initiative, even though its name had been linked with the ferry company and donations from farmers had begun to arrive at Barclays branch offices.

But after discussions with the bank, one farmer-director of the ferry project, who asked not to be named, said: "We are now clear as to the position of Barclays who will act as our bankers.

"Any money should be sent to the Hereford branch of Barclays only. The bank cannot handle the administration of cheques handed in at other branches."

The five Welsh farmers behind the scheme hope to have a roll-on roll-off live export ferry operating between Dover and Dunkirk this summer (News, May 29).

William Neville of solicitors Burges Salmon, who is working with the ferry company, added that the administration could stretch staff resources at the Hereford branch and an independent registrar may be appointed.

The farmer-director said: "We are now in a position to progress with the venture and our next step is to discuss the project with the Livestock Auctioneers Association who we are hoping will support the ferry company.

"We would also like to meet groups, such as Compassion in World Farming, to discuss welfare issues," he added.

But Peter Stevenson, CIWF political director, said that although he would be glad to talk to the ferry organisers he found the initiative very disappointing. And he said that CIWF would continue to press for the cessation of all livestock exports.