“There are no delays occurring in the approval stage. Approvals are issued once all provisions of the legislation are met. Nine applications for approval have been received in total. To date, two ships have been fully approved. Three shipments containing cattle and three shipments containing both sheep and cattle have gone to Libya,” he told the Dail.
A total of 10,991 cattle and 21,443 sheep have been exported this year alone and some 1,879 cattle and 16,565 sheep were exported in July. Just over 2,000 cattle have been exported so far this month, the Dail was informed.
“Most live cattle exports from Europe go across the Mediterranean at times of the year that are not particularly stormy. That is very different from bringing cattle from Ireland to North Africa in February, which involves travelling across the Bay of Biscay and into the Mediterranean. Our high standards, which are in place for good reasons and are based on sound animal welfare concerns, make it expensive and difficult for live cattle exporters to get all the papers in place for the operation of their ships,” he said.
He was speaking in reply to a parliamentary question from Deputy Terence Flanagan.