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Saturday, 23 March, 2002, 18:34 GMT
Animal export protest starts
Campaigners believe live exports are about the resume
Animal rights campaigners are staging a vigil in Dover in an attempt to have live animal exports banned.

The 200 protesters say they have been told live exports could start again as early as Tuesday.

The trade was halted because of the foot-and-mouth crisis.

But the European Union cleared the way for a resumption after foot-and-mouth restrictions were lifted.

We will continue to campaign and march until this evil trade is banned

Gwyn Prosser MP
The vigil at Dover's Eastern Docks was organised by the pressure group, Compassion in World Farming.

Joyce D'Silva, director of Compassion in World Farming, said 72 hours of events throughout the UK was to represent the amount of time some animals are forced to travel across Europe in cramped conditions.

She said: "The government could ban this today and allow themselves to be taken to the European Court.

'Ship leaving'

"They should stand up for what they believe. They say they want to ban it, well we say 'stand up for your convictions'.

"We've been tipped off that there could be a ship going out this week and the trade is going to start up again but we are determined that it won't start again."

Gwyn Prosser, MP for Dover and long-term campaigner against live animal exports, said he was delighted to see such a big turnout for the demonstration.

'New campaign'

"To have more than 200 people here is a good sign that the campaign will not go away," he said.

"We will continue to campaign and march until this evil trade is banned.

"The intelligence from the local animal welfare groups is that the first ship may come through on Tuesday so this is day one of the new campaign."

Before the foot-and-mouth crisis 800,000 lambs and sheep a year were exported as far as Spain, Italy and Greece.

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07 Mar 02 | Northern Ireland
Protest against live exports
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