Kent sheep deaths anniversary marked

Campaigners with banner and wreath
Image caption Campaigners are continuing to call for live animal exports to be banned

Animal rights campaigners have laid a wreath outside the Port of Ramsgate to mark a year since the deaths of nearly 50 sheep destined for export.

The live export trade has since moved to the Port of Dover but campaigners continue to call for it to be banned.

The RSPCA wants access to the animals to "safeguard their welfare" before they sail.

The National Farmers Union said the trade is legal and legitimate, with rigorous controls.

Forty four sheep were put down at Ramsgate in September last year when a lorry was stopped at the port and the animals were found to be sick and lame.

In a separate incident, a loading area floor collapsed and three more died.

Pru Elliott, from Compassion in World Farming, said: "This isn't just about remembering what happened, it's also about recognising the fact that the suffering is continuing, it's ongoing."

In March, the RSPCA failed in a renewed attempt to challenge the legality of the export of live sheep through Ramsgate.

Its lawyers asked for permission to seek a judicial review, but Mr Justice Ouseley, sitting at the High Court in London, ruled the RSPCA had failed to establish an arguable case.

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