1,000 bulls hit the seas destined for Libya

A boatload of 1,000 bulls set sail for Libya last week. The consignment of bulls – Friesians, Aberdeen Anguses, Herefords and continentals – was organised by Cork-based exporting company, Curzon Livestock.

The bulls – weighing between 400kg and 460kg – were shipped via the Sarah livestock-carrying vessel which was loaded in Co. Cork.

The same exporter hopes that this contract could form the basis of regular and consistent shipments of Irish cattle to Libya in 2019.

The consignment of bulls was the fourth shipment to Libya last year and is welcome news for the industry.

Weanling (+113 head), store (+2,388 head) and finished cattle (+158 head) numbers have all increased on 2017 levels. Including last week’s shipment, the total number exported to Libya in 2018 was approximately 5,489 head.

In July of last year, the same company sourced a consignment of Friesian bulls – weighing between 400kg and 500kg – along with continental bulls – weighing between 500kg and 600kg.

These 3,500 bulls were loaded onto livestock-carrying vessels, the Atlantic M and the Sarah. In addition to the bulls, the exporter also shipped approximately 400 in-calf Friesian heifers to Libya as part of that consignment.

Other export news

In November last year, the Libyan Government issued veterinary health certificates for Irish cattle exports to the north African country.

The agreement between the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and the Libyan National Center of Animal health will allow for the export of breeding, fattening and slaughter cattle.

This will mean an end to the previous system of health checks, where animals were certified on a load-by-load basis.

The two countries also reached an agreement whereby the age of cattle that could be exported will be raised from 24 to 30 months, meaning exporters can sell a wider range of animals.

Michael Creed, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, said of the new arrangement: “Having an agreed health cert for breeding cattle provides much more clarity for exporters.”

The agreement comes after representatives from Libya visited Ireland in August, at the invitation of the department here.