Two arrests were made when officers from the Animal Health Veterinary Laboratories Agency stepped in to prevent a lorry transporting sheep boarding a boat in Ramsgate this week.

Two arrests were made when officers from the Animal Health Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) stepped in to prevent a lorry transporting sheep boarding a boat in Ramsgate this week.

During an inspection of the vehicle on September 12 officers found a number of injured animals, including one with a broken leg, in a consignment that had been due to cross the channel into Europe.

AHVLA officers stopped a lorry transporting sheep from boarding a boat in Ramsgate. Credit: RSPCA.The lorry was prevented from sailing and a number of sheep were euthanised by AHVLA vets at the port.

Veterinary officers remained at Ramsgate port overnight to monitor the welfare of the remaining animals, which were subsequently returned to premises in Northamptonshire when suitable transport arrived.

Following the incident, Kent police confirmed: “Two men, aged 55 and 25, were arrested under suspicion of animal cruelty. They have been released on bail until October 23 pending further investigation.”

Reports claim those arrested were French lorry drivers.

AHVLA is now working with Kent Trading Standards to investigate all potential breaches of animal welfare legislation.

Will Cresswell, south-east regional operations director for the AHVLA said: “AHVLA takes its responsibilities for animal welfare during transport extremely seriously. That is why our animal health officers undertake checks on vehicles when animals arrive at the port of Ramsgate.

“Live animal transporters must comply with welfare regulations and vehicles must be fit for purpose. We will refer to all serious welfare infringements to Trading Standards for enforcement action, which could lead to prosecution.”

Image © RSPCA
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