Above – Jill.
On February 1st it will be the anniversary of the death of Jill Phipps; an animal activist who was murdered at Coventry by a truck carrying live baby calves into Coventry airport for export. I remember it very well as at the time I was entirely involved with animal exports campaigns from the port of Dover, Kent; England.
But the campaigns, protests and anti export feelings at Dover had reached a real fever pitch; as you can see in the following video – a typical day around Dover re live export – and as such, many of the ferry companies which used to take live animal transporters as part of their daily business decided to say ‘no more’ to accepting the trade and thus rejected it. The exporters were becoming isolated with their sordid trade and were trying every port (big or small) in Southern England to get their animals over the water.
Video – a typical protest day at Dover and the surrounding area:
At 27+ seconds you can see a ‘Gilder’ export truck – operated by brother GG Gilder – see Peter Gilder below.
The exporters and hauliers were in utter crisis as Dover port turned its back on the trade and would not accept it – aka people power !, and as a result the export industry had to turn to using other ports in Southern England and other means (ie by air) of getting live animals into Europe.
Also, at the same time, one of the main exporters / hauliers who constantly used Dover, named Peter Gilder, took Dover port to the high court for refusing the trade. The exporters and hauliers wanted to get Dover open again for their trade of death.
In the meantime whilst Dover was refusing the trade, small port towns such as Shoreham, Brightlingsea, and Ipswich were all used (as well as a few others) as trial ports in which the exporters attempted to continue their business.
In this next video you can see the huge public outcry and resultant protests at Shoreham (near to Brighton) about this small port being used for the export of live animals. For each shipment, huge numbers of police from London (the Met police) had to be shipped in to join local police for every export consignment – this is where the saying ‘I’ve met the Met, and got the bruises to prove it’ was originated.
This film below (and dedicated to Jill) follows weeks of daily demonstrations by hundreds and, at times, thousands of everyday people, who converged on a small harbour port in West Sussex, England, to protest and show their disgust about the export into Mainland Europe of thousands of calves, cattle and sheep.
Thousands of young calves were also destined for the veal crates, a system which was already banned in the UK where calves are kept locked into tiny boxes, only able to lay or stand, and are chained or tethered, forced to drink iron deficient milk substitute so as to satisfy those who like their flesh (veal) light rose coloured and tender. This system was already banned in the UK and so farmers were exporting these baby (male) animals to Europe where crating was still legal. How hypocritical !, the UK government banned the crates and then allowed male calves to be exported to Europe for crating !! – it was only the males which were exported, as male calves do not produce milk and thus are not used as replacements in the herd; they are essentially a ‘by product’; one which was used for veal meat production.
The film demonstrates the power of ordinary animal supportive people, when they get together and fight for the rights of those who do not have a voice.
Within weeks, these advocates for animals across Southern England managed to stop in their tracks, the big business who were profiteering from what people saw as a trade in suffering. Other harbour ports across Southern England also saw these exports stopped, due to persistent, big and daily demonstrations. Ordinary folk, from all walks of life, young and not so young, put their own liberty and personal safety at risk to try and protect animals as well as to highlight this issue of live animal exports.
Video – 1995 – the protest at Shoreham.
… and also at Brightlingsea,
Daily protests by the entire town folk of Brightlingsea in Essex against live animal exports in 1995, involved the crazy sight of hundreds of police officers (sometimes in full riot gear) forcing trucks full of sheep through narrow streets against a massive human blockade of outraged local residents. This is as good as people power gets, and the trade was eventually banned.
Video – the battle of Brightlingsea:
It was very hypocritical and involved a government exporting live calves from the UK to be incarcerated into ‘veal crates’, a system which the British had already banned. So here we were, a ban on veal crates, and a government which allowed calves to be exported to the very systems that they had banned – was it any wonder that people were bummed off (to put it mildly !).
Above – crated calves.
The exporters also attempted to air freight animals to Europe. Coventry airport, where our Jill was murdered, was one such airport.
Above – BJ – Calf Exporter, Arms Dealer and Drug Smuggler – all round no good.
The live calf shipments from Coventry airport were operated by a fellow named Barett Jolley (BJ). He was operating an aircraft from Coventry, which crashed in bad weather on the return flight, killing all five crew members. I wrote more about it recently:
After the tragic events at Coventry which included the death of our Jill, BJ was handed a 20 year jail sentence due to his attempted smuggling of £22 million of Cocaine into Southend airport which is on the SE coast of England.
He smuggled arms, he exported live veal calves; he attempted to smuggle drugs into the UK, and yet he was given police protection constantly at Coventry during the calf export protests, at which our dear Jill was killed.
I include another link to Jill which covers several posts you can read at your pleasure if you wish ::
There is still, and always has been a lot of anger in the AR movement about the death of our Jill. 28 years on and it still hurts bad.
I hope this gives you a very brief insight to activities in Southern England you now know and understand why I fight the disgusting export trade anywhere in the World !
Please remember Jill on 1/2/23 – thank you.