7 June 1996

Live exports on again

LIVE sheep exports resumed this week after a break of more than two months, bringing fresh criticism from animal welfare campaigners.

Between 2000-3000 lambs are understood to have left Dover for Dunkirk early on Monday evening, despite protests outside the port. A spokesman for Dover Harbour Board said it was the first time the ship, the Cap Afrique, had been into Dover and two more sailings were planned on Wednesday and Friday this week.

As farmers weekly went to press it was uncertain whether the Wednesday sailing would go ahead. Reports from markets suggest there are still not enough finished lambs to fill the ship chartered by exporters.

Peter Stevenson, Compassion in World Farmings political and legal director, said he was appalled that Britains sheep farmers had decided to start exporting live lambs again.

"They have no economic need to do so as people turn from beef to lamb the price of lamb (at markets) has shot up and is now 28% higher than at this time last year."

Mr Stevenson also condemned any move to resume calf exports. He claimed it was not necessary to send young calves to continental veal crates, or to send them for slaughter under the governments scheme. Instead, he suggested they should be reared to provide lower quality beef no longer supplied from cull cows. &#42