LETTER: A challenge to UK jurisdiction

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The Independent Online
From Mr Ronald F. Kirkby

Sir: I read with interest your article ("Hauliers challenge animal welfare law", 12 May) stating that Ken Lane Transport and Europan Ltd, the companies that transport live animals to the continent of Europe for Albert Hall Farms, were challenging their conviction for breaking UK animal transport welfare laws on the basis that the UK courts have no jurisdiction over offences committed in France.

It is very noticeable that while these same companies call on the police and the courts to protect and assist them to conduct their "lawful" trade, they are not prepared to accept the authority of the courts when they themselves break the law.

The only logical reason for challenging the courts' authority to try offences committed on the mainland of Europe seems to be that they intend to continue breaking the law, or, should I say, if their challenge is upheld, they intend to continue treating animals in such a way that they would be prosecuted in the UK.

It is little wonder that the public is so disgusted with live animal transport and that the RSPCA is so determined to bring an end to a trade that is being run by an industry that has lost all credibility and deserves neither trust nor respect.

Yours sincerely,

RONALD F. KIRKBY

Chairman of Council

RSPCA

Horsham, West Sussex

21 May

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