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Minister Coveney Welcomes the Re-Opening of the Live Export Trade

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD, today said that his Department had approved a vessel for the carriage of the live cattle after detailed inspection of the ship.

Minister Coveney welcomed the resumption of this trade and said that he understood that the first shipment is likely to take place in mid February. He noted that the live export trade provides alternative market outlets for certain categories of livestock, thereby serving a market demand and providing increased competition in the market place for cattle. In view of this, he said that that the resumption of this market will provide a welcome boost to the cattle trade. 

The Minister said that the resumption of this trade followed on from the efforts of his Department and the Irish embassy in Rome over a considerable period of time to secure access to the Libyan market and he was pleased that actual exports were likely to commence shortly. In this context, he emphasised that Ireland has a strict system of transport rules in respect of both national and international journeys. The current Irish regulation in relation to the approval of ships for livestock transport sets a higher standard than that which applies in other EU Member States and this is justified not only on sound animal welfare reasons but also because it reflects the nature of the shipping routes from this island. 

Concluding, Minister Coveney welcomed this development which, he said, would help to underpin cattle prices for the coming months.

Date Released: 30 January 2013