1,000 police drafted to animal port
Thursday 05 January 1995
Sussex officers were joined by police from London, Hampshire and Kent at Shoreham Harbour in an attempt to prevent further disturbances. On the previous two nights, lorries loaded with sheep and calves had been forced to turn away by hundreds of protesters opposed to live animal exports. They had leapt on to lorries, smashing lights and hurling stones through windscreens.
The port of Shoreham's decision to export animals for slaughter on the continent has united a community in opposition. Few extremists are involved in the campaign, most taking part being local residents previously uninvolved with protests.
Hundreds of citizens, including many children and old people, were protesting during the main clashes with hauliers on Monday and Tuesday. Police were largely powerless when faced with strong, but largely non-violent, opposition.
Adur District Council and Hove Borough Council, which have a minority interest in the trust port, are among the opponents. In November they passed unanimous resolutions "to do all in their power to prevent the trade".
Garth Staden, chief executive of Adur council, said for moral reasons animals should be slaughtered as close to the farm as possible. In addition, he said, "the trade will have an adverse effect on other businesses in the area. The port is in decline andthis trade will drive other business away".
Jim Glover, chairman of the Port Agents' Association, also against the exports, agreed. "The port authority should be listening to public opinion. Many, many ports around the country have rejected the trade and yet Shoreham is prepared to take on the business. It's going to be a five-minute wonder because the trade will be stopped. It will be stopped through a change in legislation or through vociferous protests."
West Sussex is a hot-bed of animal rights groups - the reason why several traders wishing to start the business through Shoreham reportedly backed-off. The Animal Liberation Front and Justice Department, two extremist groups, have a strong local base, which could be used to paralyse the port.
But the vast majority of animal rights' groups oppose the trade peacefully. Compassion in World Farming, a main group in the Sussex action, opposes violent protest. Phillip Lymbery, group national spokesman, was urging demonstrators to stop damaging lorries during Tuesday's clashes with hauliers.
But Philip Lacey, port general manager, welcomes the trade. He said: "Our role is simply to provide a transport facility - just like local authorities who provide and maintain roads. We have a legal responsibility to keep our facilities open for lawful use.
"If the demonstrators don't like the handling regulations or the laws covering livestock transport, they should clearly take their campaign to the politicians who govern these matters. It's useless and inappropriate to lobby here."
But Mark Glover, spokesman for Respect for Animals, a national pressure group, said the port authority was simply using "excuses" to kick-start the trade.
"The 1847 Harbours, Docks and Piers Act [allegedly compelling the port to accept any lawful cargo] is nothing but an excuse. If they wanted to stop it they could - Shoreham is becoming a gateway to hell."
Mr Lacey said groups like Respect for Animals could only provide loopholes in the legislation, which he likened to breaking the law. The trade should continue, he said, until the law is changed.
- 1 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 2 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 3 UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
- 5 'Isis' schoolgirls: Missing British teenager tweets picture of her Syrian takeaway
Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
Ian Brady: Moors murderer announces his support for Ukip and the SNP
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
Power of Nepal earthquake was equivalent to 20 huge atomic bombs
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
£24000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Situated in the heart of Bradfo...
£26000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This busy local Joinery company...
£20000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you recently QCA Level 4 qu...