First calves depart on W.B. Yeats today

The first consignments of calves have departed on the new ship the W.B. Yeats.

Departing from Dublin Port and bound for France, the new boat took a number of lorries on board for the first time earlier today (Tuesday, March 19) before its planned departure time of 4:00pm.

The ship was inspected by the Department of Agriculture in today’s trial load; a few loads boarded and were accompanied by vets.

Department vets will travel on it to monitor their progress; to check how stable the vessel is and then, subject to a trial being successful, an official licence will be issued to the vessel in relation to livestock.

No problems are expected, with calm sea conditions on the cards for the sailing.

The W.B. Yeats will slot into a schedule of three sailings to France per week. The ship will sail on: Tuesdays at 4:00pm; Thursdays at 4:00pm; and Saturdays at 6:30pm.

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

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.

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.