9 March 2012
Keith Taylor, the Green MEP for Kent and the South East, has called on Thanet Council to raise the fee for boats using Ramsgate port to export live animals. Keith has written to the local authority asking them to increase the fee for exporting animals so that it reflects the additional costs arising from the extra police, staff and security required for this controversial trade.
Keith said, "At the moment these export costs are being covered by the public purse, despite widespread opposition locally and nationally to the practice of exporting live animals. This means that the public are effectively subsidising an activity that's inhumane, unnecessary and unjustifiable. I hope that Thanet council will endorse a levy that reflects the true costs of this horrific industry".
Keith recently detailed his concerns about live exports at a public meeting in Broadstairs, along with local MPs and campaigners. He has previously visited Ramsgate to meet with campaigners who are demanding an end to live animal exports from the port. Keith has written to James Paice MP, the Minister of State for Agriculture and Food, to ask whether DEFRA is adequately monitoring EU transportation standards and whether these standards are being met at Ramsgate port.
At an EU level Keith has written to European Commissioner Dalli to raise his concerns over live animal exports and to ask him to support an eight hour limit on animal transport times, as a step to banning all live exports.
Keith is urging his constituents in the South East to support a Compassion in World Farming campaign which encourages people to write to Thanet Council requesting an increase in the export levy and an end to the inhumane live animal export trade. The charity has recently worked with actress Joanna Lumley to launch a campaign to end live animal exports in 2012.