Department probes for extra boat to ease calf export woes

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has confirmed that it has been in contact with exporters regarding an extra boat to export calves amid the current bottleneck.

Confirming the news to AgriLand, a spokesperson said that the department has been in contact with exporters in recent days as it understands from industry enquiries that there may be a vessel capable of being adapted for approval for the carriage of calves to the continent.

“The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine is prepared to make every effort to engage with the owner of the vessel to facilitate the inspection and approval – subject to appropriate modifications – as necessary,” the representative said.

He added that the department would encourage exporters to engage with the owner of the vessel with regard to the export of calves by this means.

Such a move would be expected to help ease the current situation of getting calves out of the country, which came under more pressure last week.

Last Saturday (March 2), two ferries that had been scheduled to export dairy calves out of the country refused to allow livestock aboard due to bad weather.

The Irish Ferries vessel – due to set sail from Dublin Port – and the Stena Line vessel – due to set sail from Rosslare Harbour, Co. Wexford – refused livestock due to predicted gale-force weather conditions.

Exporters were informed that their livestock consignments – which were destined for Cherbourg Port in France – would no longer be allowed for health and safety reasons.