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Thursday, 7 March, 2002, 07:20 GMT
Protest against live exports
The organisation believes animals can suffer in transit
The organisation believes animals can suffer in transit
An animal welfare group is to hold a protest on Thursday morning against further shipments of live farm animals from the Port of Belfast.

Belfast has become the first UK port to be used for shipments of live sheep to Europe after the lifting of foot-and-mouth disease restrictions.

Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) said long distance transport could inflict suffering on animals and spread diseases.


We are gravely concerned that Belfast will become a port of shame

Richard Hardy
CIWF

It said videos had shown that animals sent on long journeys abroad could "suffer terribly".

Richard Hardy, Campaigns Manager for Compassion in World Farming Ireland, said: "Long distance transport often inflicts widespread suffering on animals and risks spreading infectious diseases.

"CIWF is gravely concerned that Belfast will become a port of shame if it continues to export live animals to the continent.

"We are calling on the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development not to allow the return of any livestock boat into a Northern Ireland port."

Ban

Last month, actress Joanna Lumley led a demonstration in central London against the UK's export of live animals.

The Absolutely Fabulous star addressed a rally in Trafalgar Square, organised by CIWF, which aimed to press the government into banning what campaigners say is a cruel practice.

CIWF wants a complete ban on the trade, but believes farmers need not suffer, because the animals should be slaughtered in Britain and the meat either exported or sold on the domestic market.

See also:

14 Jan 02 | UK Politics
UK is 'foot-and-mouth free'
19 Apr 00 | UK
Animal export 'video nasty'
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