Taoiseach called on to assist calf export facilitation

The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has been called on by independent TD Denis Naughten to ensure an “urgent meeting of key players is convened to provide a practical solution to the lack of sufficient export facilities for calves at the Port of Cherbourg, France”.

Speaking in Dail Eireann this afternoon (Tuesday, February 19), deputy Naughten said: “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 Department of Agriculture needs to bring the live exporters and ICOS (Irish Co-operative Organisation Society) to the table immediately to come up with a practical solution and to fund the additional lairage capacity between them, if that is what is required,” said the Roscommon Galway TD.

There is no point wringing our hands about this problem in a few weeks when we have nowhere for these calves to go – now is the time for action in order to avert a catastrophe within the beef sector.

Meanwhile, the future of the beef sector in the context of Food Wise 2025 will be the key focus for the next meeting of the Joint Committee for Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

The committee will be meeting with officials from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine later this evening to discuss the matter.