Live export meeting welcomed but ‘must ensure no blockages’

Efforts to provide a practical solution to the lack of sufficient export facilities for calves at the Port of Cherbourg, France, have been welcomed – but there must be no blockages in routes, according to independent TD Denis Naughten.

The TD was reacting to a meeting today between the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and live calf exporters.

In a statement on the matter, deputy Naughten claimed: “This meeting has happened on foot of my request to the Taoiseach to intervene in this situation 10 days ago.

“At the time I pointed out to the Taoiseach that if we don’t take dairy calves out of our beef production system then this will decimate the livelihoods of our beef farmers.

But, to facilitate the export of these calves we need extra lairage capacity in Cherbourg.

“The meeting today with Department of Agriculture needs to bring about a mechanism to ensure that there are no blockages to the export of these calves,” Naughten concluded.

Creed calls for ‘united’ export representation

Representatives from Ireland’s livestock-export sector met with the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, this morning (Thursday, February 28).

During the meeting, Minister Creed reiterated the Government’s commitment to maintaining and developing live exports from Ireland.

The minister also highlighted the importance of adherence to the highest standards in animal welfare for the transportation of livestock.

According to a statement from the minister: “A broad ranging discussion focused on a number of areas of concern to the industry.”

Commenting on the meeting, a spokesperson for the minister said: “This was an important and timely dialogue with a key pillar of our livestock sector.”

At the meeting, the minister pressed upon exporters the need to consider collective representation in order to improve the sectors interaction with key stakeholders; from regulators to commercial transporters.