Phoenix Aviation intend to increase animal exports

LONDON, March 3 (Reuter) - A British airline said on Friday it was increasing flights of livestock to continental Europe despite protests by animal rights activists over calf exports.

We are getting two to three flights (of veal calves) away a day...which is very satisfactory," said Phoenix Aviation spokesman John Bradshaw, adding that flights had been down to one a day previously.

The airline, which operates its livestock export business from Coventry Airport in central England to Amsterdam, was forced to suspend its service last month after a woman protester was crushed to death by a truck.

Bradshaw said that trucks carrying the live calves to the airport would be allowed to move more freely after the removal on Thursday by police of tents and structures belonging to animal rights protesters from a road near Coventry airport.

Scores of animal rights activists have been camped outside the airport since November.

Compassion in World Farming spokesman Peter Keevil said the removal of the tents would not stop the protesters. "It's a war of attrition and we will fight on," he said.

Animal rights activists say the calf export business is inhumane as calves are often sent overseas to be raised in small crates to create tender white meat, a practice now outlawed in Britain.