Twin blow for animal protesters

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Campaigners against the livestock trade were dealt a double blow yesterday when the port of Shoreham resumed shipments and it emerged that Brightlingsea would begin shipping veal calves to the Continent, writes Danny Penman.

Shoreham was forced to accept the shipments or face being sued for breach of contract by International Traders' Ferries. The port has promised shipments will cease when the contract runs out next month.

Shoreham, in West Sussex, has been the scene of a bitter struggle between exporters and demonstrators for five weeks. The port initially welcomed the trade but has since moved to end it. Adur District Council forced a temporary stop to the shipments on Sunday after discovering that the port had incorrect planning permission for the berth used by the livestock ship.

A convoy of five trucks took a handful of protesters by surprise yesterday. Many protesters were in tears as the lorries loaded with sheep and veal calves sped into the port guarded by police.

At Brightlingsea, in Essex, protesters vowed to fight the escalation in livestock shipments.