Live cattle exports to Libya to restart – Coveney
Published 19/12/2012 | 06:00
Live cattle exports to Libya should restart by February at the latest, according to the Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney.
Speaking at the ICSA's AGM in Dublin last week, the minister said that his officials were working hard on getting a boat approved for live exports in January or February.
"Libya is the most likely destination but there are real welfare issues around this.
"It's no joke crossing the Bay of Biscay in January and the last thing I want is reports of cattle breaking legs on their journey to wherever," said Mr Coveney.
He added that the live shipping of cattle was not his preferred way of dealing with Irish cattle because of the loss of added value and jobs by not processing them here.
"However, if that's the way to keep our factories honest, so be it," he said.
The news will be welcomed by farmers, whose fears centre on the increased numbers of cattle that are expected to come on stream in the second half of 2013.
However, problems remain to be sorted. Libya is very unstable since the fall of dictator Muammar Gaddafi and exporters will require payment upfront for all cattle.