16 September 1998
Welfarists fear setback after ‘sickening’ attack on truckers
By FWi staff
ANIMAL welfare groups fear the campaign against live exports has been set back years after a rock dropped from a bridge left a lorry driver critically ill in hospital.
Father of two Steven Granger, 40, was seriously hurt on Monday night when a rock thrown from a bridge over the A2 in Kent smashed through the windscreen of his lorry. The lorry then careered across the central reservation before plunging down an embankment into a ploughed field.
Police believe the rock was aimed at a convoy of livestock trucks taking animals to the Farmers Ferry ship docked in Dover harbour. Mr Granger had no connection with the live-export trade and his lorry was travelling in the opposite direction.
Animal welfare groups described the incident as sickening. The campaign to have live exports banned would undoubtedly suffer as a result, they said.
“This was a stupid and mindless attack,” said Philip Lymbery, spokesman for Compassion in World Farming. “Our hearts and prayers go out to Mr Granger and his family. Violence in any respect is wholly and morally wrong.”
Trevor Love, founder and former chairman of Kent Action Against Live Exports, described those who had carried out the attack as mindless thugs.
“I just feel a lot of the work Ive done in past three years has been wasted,” Mr Love said.
Dover MP Gwyn Prosser, who is to propose a private members bill in Parliament to ban live exports, said the majority of animal welfare campaigners were decent people.
But he added: “Their efforts are being undermined by a small group of militant fanatics who should be weeded out.”
Police are appealing for witnesses, and for anyone with information about the attack to come forward. Mr Granger this morning (Wednesday) remained in a critical but stable condition at the Princess Royal Hospital, Haywards Heath, West Sussex.