Animal hauliers need ferry cash
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by Karen Miles • The Government should contribute towards the costs of re-launching a cross-Channel livestock ferry, say livestock hauliers.
At the Road Haulage Association's livestock and agricultural groups' annual conference in Stratford upon Avon tomorrow (Friday), livestock chairman Eddie Harper will warn that unless the Government agrees to a £500,000 grant to start such a service, livestock hauliers contracted to export sheep will soon be hit by another disaster.
Harper will argue that if hauliers are unable to win any compensation for the beef crisis then they should fight to allow the million sheep destined for mainland Europe between June and October to be shipped across the Channel.
The RHA is expected to approach the Government with its demands. ITF, the last livestock ferry service to sail, gave up its chartered ferry when the beef export ban was imposed in March.
The calls follow a report last week from the influential Parliamentary Scottish Affairs Committee which has recommended that the Government should reinstate a subsidy for all freight travelling by ferries between the Northern Isles and the Scottish mainland.
Freight Transport Association Scottish regional secretary Gavin Scott welcomes the committee's findings "so that people of the islands can export to the people of Scotland and reimport at reasonable prices."