The Dutch Convict who still exports sheep from the UK to mainland Europe; and guess what, the EU does Nothing !
Photos by campaigner friend Val Cameron.
Here is a very brief insight into fairly recent events in England by a Dutch livestock exporter who was exposed for illegal activities back in 2010.
His name is Johannes Onderwater
Johannes Onderwater owns and operates the ‘Joline’ ship (or rather a bathtub – ex Soviet battle tank carrier for use on rivers) which undertakes services carrying livestock between Ramsgate (UK) and Calais (France) – across the English Channel, which is not a river.
Above – The river vessel ‘Joline’ Crosses the English Channel with full livestock transporters.
Onderwater is a convicted criminal. This conviction was proven by an animal export organisation I was personally involved with back in 2010, in a UK court of law at Folkestone, Kent, when, working in conjunction with Kent Trading Standards (KTS); on 5th July 2010 at Folkestone Magistrates Court, Kent, Onderwater Agneaux BV (Onderwaters company) pleaded guilty to no less than six (6) offences under the Animal Health Act 1981 of causing the transport of sheep in contravention of the Welfare of Animals (Transport) (England) Order 2006 and EU Council Regulation (EC) 1/2005 (Protection of animals during transport).
As a result, Onderwater’s company, Onderwater Agneaux BV (of the Netherlands), was fined at Folkestone a total of £10,370. And so, under UK law, by being prosecuted in this way, and pleading guilty to offences, Onderwater IS a convicted criminal.
As the lead up to this particular court prosecution; Onderwater was shipping live sheep out of Dover port; whilst declaring on paperwork that ‘boxed meat’ only was being shipped. At the time, and it is still the case, Onderwater was using sealed box type trailers for carrying livestock – not your conventional type trailers where you can actually see the animals. These are fully enclosed trailers which to all purposes, look like a typical refrigerated trailer.
Here is a photo of one loading onto the Joline – would you know this trailer is full of live sheep ? – it is.
So here he was exporting live sheep for slaughter out of England via Dover port; whilst declaring on export paperwork he was carrying ‘boxed meat’. It was only by chance and vigilance of the crew of the P&O cross Channel ferry that something suspicious (a smell) was noticed with the trailer. The captain of the ferry was called, the owner of the truck and trailer was forced to open it up; and then all the live sheep were seen rather than the boxed meat as declared on the carnet !
So, it was decided to take Onderwater to court for misleading the authorities and the ferry operator, and for ‘fixing’ the export paperwork; and for animal abuse. As you can read from the start, 5/7/10 was the day we finally got him into court.
In court, Onderwater Agneaux BV (Onderwaters company) pleaded guilty to no less than six (6) offences under the Animal Health Act 1981 (England) of causing the transport of sheep in contravention of the Welfare of Animals (Transport) (England) Order 2006 and EU Council Regulation (EC) 1/2005 (the Protection of animals during transport).
As a result, Onderwater’s company, Onderwater Agneaux BV (of the Netherlands), was fined at Folkestone a total of £10,370. And so, under UK law, by being prosecuted in this way, and pleading guilty to offences, Onderwater became a convicted criminal in the UK.
Cut to this week; mid July 2019; and Onderwater is still exporting live sheep out of England for slaughter at the festival of Eid. Whjy ? – because the Dutch authorities were too lenient on him at the time of the court case – his business is Dutch registered and so only the Dutch authorities can take action; they ‘ticked him off’ but continued to allow him to operate rather than close down the entire operation.
July 2019 – We are now as amazed as we were back in July 2010; that an exporter who pleads guilty in an English court of law to no less than 6 animal welfare offences; including the EU Reg 1/2005 on the transport of live animals; is still operating taking British sheep to mainland Europe for slaughter at Eid.
Is it us or is there a real problem with live animal transporters in the EU ? – we guess that the events in Romania involving 70,000 live sheep this week just go to prove that the EU has not got any grip on the issue of live animal transport.
Published: 14:52, 22 July 2010
| Updated: 15:12, 22 July 2010
As Mark Rolfe from KTS (who prosecuted with us) said back in 2010, the trade in live animals is ‘unacceptable and illegal’.
If it is, then why does the EU still allow Onderwater to export live sheep out of England some 9 years on from his conviction ?
The closed box trailer with sheep is checked before export
Onderwater operates White Scania cab vehicles, such as this: