23 October 1998
Farmers Ferry — what the papers say
THE Ministry of Agriculture has reprimanded a ferry firm set up by farmers for refusing to take a Government vet on board during a Channel crossing in bad weather, reports The Times.
The ferry firm was set up after regular ferry companies refused to ship live animals to the Continent.
Officials said Farmers Ferry, which began operating last August, had been asked by the ministry to allow one of its vets on board the vessel Cap Afrique on Wednesday.
Terry Bayliss, a Welsh sheep farmer and chairman of the ferry company, said: “Force 8 gale conditions had subsided to force 4 or 5 by the time of the sailing and we did not consider the vets presence necessary.”
The company is also facing the loss of its biggest customer. F Machin and Sons of Brandsby, North Yorkshire, a livestock transporter, was found guilty earlier this month of breaches of welfare legislation.
Elliot Morley, animal welfare minister, said he was “minded” to revoke the transporters licence and had invited the company to say why he should not take the action.