22 October 1998
Minister launches broadside at Farmers Ferry
By FWi staff
OPERATORS of the Farmers Ferry incurred the wrath of a Government minister last night (Tuesday) after they reportedly denied a MAFF inspector access to their ship.
The Ministry of Agriculture had asked that one of its veterinary inspectors should accompany the roll-on roll-off Cap Afrique as it transported 12 lorry-loads of livestock from Dover to Dunkirk.
A ministry spokesman said that the request, in accordance with existing animal welfare regulations, was made in view of forecast bad weather and heavy seas in the English Channel.
But the captain of the Cap Afrique refused to allow the vet on board for the length of the voyage.
Ministry officials then discussed the bad weather conditions with the captain, who claimed that the conditions were unlikely to cause the animals on board any suffering, the spokesman said.
Junior farm minister Elliot Morley, who is in charge of animal welfare, said the attitude of those operating the Farmers Ferry was irresponsible.
“I find the lack of cooperation from the operators of the Farmers Ferry extraordinary and deplorable, especially in view of the ferry operators professed adherence to high animal welfare standards,” Mr Morley said.