3 November 1995

Live trade halt atBrightlingsea

LIVE animal exports from the Essex port of Brightlingsea have been suspended.

Roger Mills, who has been send- ing sheep and calves to the Cont-inent from the port, said he would move his operation to Dover.

He said there were two main reasons behind the decision. First, restrictions placed on the business by Essex police. And second, a shortage of sheep on the market.

The police put a minimum limit on the number of stock vehicles going into the port before they could justify an escort for the convoy. They also imposed restrictions on when they would provide assistance to ensure lorries were not hampered by animal rights protesters. He said there were no similar restrictions at Dover.

Mr Mills said the lack of sheep on the market stemmed from the dry summer, which had caused many animals to be marketed earlier than usual. "Currently, sufficient grass enables producers to hold animals in anticipation of price rises in the run-up to Christmas," he added.

Compassion in World Farming said animal welfare campaigners were celebrating Mr Mills move.

But Mr Mills said that though he would ship animals through Dover, he was increasingly concerned about the number of Dutch and Belgian dealers who were buying stock in Britain and shipping them abroad from Dover.

He said animal welfare was suffering because such dealers were "cutting corners". &#42