LIVE EXPORT UPDATE: U-turn means 1,200 bulls will now be shipped out to North Africa from Kilkenny port this Friday
A shipment of 1,200 bulls and bullocks due to leave a county Kilkenny port for North Africa last week but then cancelled will now take place this Friday after agreement was reached between the exporter and the Department of Agriculture.
Up to 6,000 live bulls and bullocks could leave Belview Port in South Kilkenny over the coming months on route to North Africa and the Middle East after an agreement was reached between the exporter Roundwood Park Livestock, the Department of Agriculture and Algerian authorities surrounding health concerns and health certification of the animals.
The first of these sailings will see 1,200 animals leave Belview Port this Friday, May 22.
The livestock vessel the Sarah M, which was due to carry the animals, had been expected to return to the European mainland following news the export had been cancelled, however, the ship never left the Hook Peninsula and maintained its holding position off the Waterford coast for more than two weeks since it arrived in Irish waters on May 4.
Wicklow-based company Roundwood Park Livestock announced last week its planned cattle shipment to Algeria had been cancelled due to issues regarding health certificate requirements but after concerted efforts from all parties involved the live exports can go ahead, a move welcomed by many farming groups in Ireland – who say bullock and bulls are among the hardest animals to sell.
However local animal rights campaigners are dismayed by the latest development.
Chair of Waterford Animal Concern John Tierney is disappointed at the Government’s reversal and sees this as a serious blow to their opposition to live animal exports.
“It is disappointing to know that is official Irish Government policy to facilitate this trade.
“Exporting live cattle to non-EU countries is not animal welfare friendly.
Waterford Animal Concern wants the Irish government to withdraw governmental approval for live animal exports to the Middle East and North Africa.” Mr Tierney concluded.