New routes for export of live animals must prompt Ministers to rethink stance, says Ruskell
New routes for the export of live animals from Scotland for slaughter overseas must prompt Scottish Ministers to rethink their stance and rule out the cruel practice once and for all, according to Mark Ruskell MSP, Food & Farming spokesperson for the Scottish Greens.
Speaking in a Holyrood debate on the subject, Mr Ruskell highlighted the fact that farmers are getting around P&O’s recent ban by shipping young calves from Ramsgate in Kent rather than Cairnryan in Dumfries and Galloway.
"I have raised this issue repeatedly with the Scottish Government since the start of this year. The announcement from P&O ferries last month that it would finally begin enforcing its own animal welfare policy and stop shipping live animals intended for fattening or slaughter on the Cairnryan to Larne route was very much welcome, though long overdue. We should not kid ourselves into thinking the trade is over – live exports of young calves from Scottish farms is continuing, as the footage from Ramsgate earlier this month shows.
"Without a commitment from the Scottish Government to at least consider a ban, this cruel trade, and the suffering that goes with it, will continue under the radar and in the shadows. Instead of pressurising a ferry company to circumvent their own policies and begin accepting live exports again, the Scottish Government should be spending their time working with their Westminster counterparts to address the glaring and urgent concerns over animal welfare."