Dedicated and caring animal activist Jill Phipps was killed while protesting against the export of live animals.
Jill's only desire was to help make the world a kinder place for animals and end their needless suffering.
25 years after her tragic death, the struggle to end live animal exports continues and we are determined that she will never be forgotten. This website has been created to inspire animal liberation activism and to keep her memory alive.
On Wednesday 1 February 1995, Jill Phipps died under under the wheels of a cattle truck carrying calves into Coventry Airport. The protesters present on that day were doing what they did every day, some held placards and some attempted to slow the vehicle down by making themselves clearly visible. The plan was to sit on the road and to chain themselves to the lorry.
This was a legitimate and peaceful form of protest against an unbelievably barbaric industry. These baby calves, cruelly separated from their mothers, were a by-product of the dairy industry and were about to endure a gruelling journey to Amsterdam for distribution across the continent, and were destined for confinement in veal crates that had already been banned in the UK.
Jill was a mother herself and was very upset by what she saw- terrified unweaned babies just days old, bewildered and shaking, some with blood on their faces. The animals have no voice and it is the duty of good people to speak up for them and act on their behalf.
unweaned babies suckling on peoples hands,desperate for their mothers!
On that day there were only 33 protestors, yet there were 100 police officers. Jill had no intention of deliberately putting herself in danger, she and the others had assumed that the police and the lorry driver would have a little more respect for human life than they had for animals lives. Sadly this was not the case, the police were determined to keep the vehicles moving. They had instructed the driver Stephen Yates only minutes before to keep going and not to stop, he only did so after Jill had been fatally injured beneath the wheels.
A brief history
The campaign against live exports has lasted many decades and has widespread public support.
Millions of cattle, pigs, sheep, goats and horses from the UK endure horrific suffering as they are transported around Europe on gruelling journeys that often last for days without proper rest stops and regularly flout unenforceable welfare laws. They are often brutally kicked and beaten as they are being loaded on and off the lorries, and many die en route.
In 1990 when veal crates were banned, farmers used a loophole in the law allowing them to ship newborn calves to other European countries to be reared in veal crates where they were still legal.
battle of brightlingsea
Taking into account the strength of public opinion, several major ferry operators decided to implement a ban on carrying live animals.
This forced the farmers to start using the smaller ports including Shoreham and Brightlingsea in early 1995, where they were met with mounting local opposition.
Meanwhile in Coventry a company called Phoenix Aviation had already begun flying calves from Coventry Airport to Amsterdam in November 1994. The owner Christopher Barrett-Jolley was a known gunrunner who had flown arms to vulnerable developing countries including South Yemen and Sierra Leone, and was later jailed for smuggling 270 kg of cocaine into Southend. He was a man completely without scruples who would seize any opportunity to make money regardless of the suffering and loss of life it caused.
There were up to 5 flights a day each with 190 calves on board, and local residents and animal activists began demonstrating constantly day and night in a determined effort to stop them.
After Jills death, the veal flights continued for just 3 more months. The tragedy became a huge focus of media attention and it acted as a catalyst throughout the country to further motivate and unite people to end this brutal trade wherever it was happening.
Demonstrating at the local council offices. Jill is at the front on the right.