First live cattle shipment to head for Turkey next week

The first shipment of live cattle to Turkey is expected to depart early next week, IFA President Joe Healy has said.

Irish exports received clearance in June following a pro-active and detailed engagement between the Department of Agriculture and its Turkish counterparts and an inspection by a Turkish veterinary delegation in May.

It is believed that the immediate requirement in Turkey is for live exports in the form of forward stock, mainly heavy cattle weighing over 500kg, from the suckler herd.

Turkey is a major importer of cattle and during the first four months of 2016, it imported 100,000 head of EU origin cattle.

The IFA President said that this is a very positive development for the livestock sector and that there is great potential in the Turkish live export market.

He also said that he is hopeful that this shipment will be followed by many future shipments.

Turkey is a major opportunity for the Irish livestock sector and has an import requirement for up to 400,000 head of live cattle annually.

“In 2015 Turkey imported 380,000 head of cattle, the majority from South America and up to 120,000 from France.

Healy said IFA pushed hard to get the market open and has been working with exporters and the Department of Agriculture to facilitate the trade.

“A strong live trade is essential to maximising competition and to put a solid floor under weanlings this back end.”