Farmers Ferry ship sails amid protests

14 August 1998

Farmers Ferry ship sails amid protests

By Johann Tasker in Dover

THE Farmers Ferry ship, Cap Afrique, sailed this morning (Friday) , amid protests from animal rights campaigners. About 40 protesters demonstrated against the sailing, delivering sheep and pigs from Dover to Dunkirk.

The Cap Afrique had tied up at Dover Eastern Docks at 5.30am this morning, when five empty lorries drove off. A total of 11 lorries then boarded the ferry as protesters shouted abuse. There were nine lorry-loads of sheep and two of pigs.

“Pigs are very easily travel-sick. Its awful,” said Ann Priestler, a veteran of the 1995 ports protests, which forced the major ferry companies to stop transporting live animmals.

Many of the lorries had foreign number-plates; a number of them were from The Netherlands.

“The fact that theyve got such number-plates doesnt necessarily mean theyre going to Holland,” said Thomas Crawley, a protester with Kent Against Live Exports.

Richard Hardy, spokesman for Compassion in World Farming, said that although the number of protesters was fewer than expected, further demonstrations had been planned. “This is a promising start to what I see as the re-ignition of the anti-live-exports campaign,” he said.

“People are really incensed at the Farmers Ferry. We have every sympathy with the crisis in farming, but we believe the industry should use its marketing skills to develop trade in carcasses only.”

The charter on the Cap Afrique is currently held by Brindie, the export company that Farmers Ferry is hoping to buy.

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