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Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 March, 2004, 16:18 GMT
Firm stops export of live animals
Live exports
Live animal exports had led to the blocking of telephone lines
A Kent shipping company has decided to stop the live export of animals from Dartford.

Over the past few months, Dartline had sent trial shipments through the Thames Europort in the town amid anger from animal rights campaigners.

But on Tuesday the company said its decision to stop had been based on "commercial considerations".

Kent Action Against Live Exports said its campaign of action against the firm had achieved the result.

Common sense has prevailed at last
Angie Petro, Kent Action Against Live Exports
In a statement, Dartline said: "Following recent trial shipments of live stock through Thames Europort, Dartline has decided not to take further bookings.

"Although a legal trade, this decision has been based on commercial considerations as it is considered that the trade is incompatible with the cargoes carried on behalf of other customers."

Campaigners opposing the shipments had mounted a number of impromptu protests to vent their anger at the company, which included blocking the entrance to the port at various times of the day and night.

They also blocked the company's telephone lines, emails and faxes.

Angie Petro, from Kent Action Against Live Exports, said the company's decision was all down to the pressure the group had put on it.

Blackmail denied

"Common sense has prevailed at last," she said.

"They have seen what protests can do affecting their businesses.

"We have pleaded with them and at long last everything has come out for the benefit of the animals."

Ms Petro denied protesters had blackmailed Dartline into making its decision to discontinue with the trade.

She said: "All we were doing by blocking the phone lines was to point out the horrors connected with the live export trade."


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