Live exports protest planned for this weekend

The Compassion in World Farming volunteer group will hold a protest against live exports at the GPO, O’Connell Street, Dublin, today (Saturday, June 16) from 2:00pm to 4:00pm.

“Millions of cattle and sheep are transported thousands of kilometres every year on journeys that result in immense suffering,” the group claimed in a statement.

“Journeys can last several days or weeks, often in crowded trucks or ships, and the animals can suffer from severe stress, exhaustion, dehydration, extreme heat and even death.”

Caroline Rowley, one of the organisers, said that a report on alleged violations by trucks transporting livestock from Rosslare, by Eyes on Animals – which trails live animal exports – had been brought to the attention of Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed. It had caused her group great concern, she claimed.

“It is not the first time breaches have been uncovered and we do not believe steps have been put in place to ensure they won’t happen again,” Rowley said.

Rowley pointed to alternative options for Irish farmers, such as more rose veal farms in Ireland – which would also create employment – where the finished product could be exported rather than the live animals.

“Kilkenny Rose Veal is doing very well out of the increase in male calves available due to the expansion of the dairy industry. Other farmers could follow suit,” she said.

There is worldwide demand for Irish beef because of its unique flavour due to being raised in lush green fields. This is lost when live animals are exported and finished on grain. Minister Creed should be doing more to promote this.

“The market in China recently opened and they are now importing Irish beef. There are many other market opportunities that should be pursued rather than pushing this outdated and inhumane industry,” contended Rowley.