Capacity for 1,200 extra animals a week secured for Irish calf exporters in France
Irish calf exporters have received approval by the French Authorities for an increase in the holding capacity of one of the lairages at Cherbourg which facilitates the processing of animal exports to the EU.
Agriculture Minister Michael Creed welcomed the announcement of additional daily capacity for 400 animals which based on current ferry sailing schedules, provides increased capacity of some 1,200 animals per week.
The provision of such lairage facilities is a matter for private industry, however staff from the Department of Agriculture have had on-going contacts with the exporters in Ireland, lairage owners in France and the French authorities over recent months to explore options to facilitate further trade.
Minister Creed had also raised the matter with the French Minister for Foreign Affairs when they met in Dublin recently.
“One of the constraints faced by exporters has been the limited lairage capacity at Cherbourg. I welcome the initiative of the lairage owner in France to expand his facilities which has now been approved by the French Authorities,” said Minister Creed.
“I would like to acknowledge the responsiveness of the French Authorities, who understanding the significant importance of this route for Irish exports, have moved quickly to approve the facility. This will provide some welcome additional capacity for those exporting animals to Europe.”
Minister Creed emphasised the absolute need for exporters to ensure strict adherence to the transport regulation to ensure the welfare of the animals at all times.
Exporter John Hallissey from JH Livestock Exporters stated this week that around 20 exporters have agreed to meet in the coming days to discuss setting up an export body to represent the trade.
He said key issues they would be looking at ranged from health issues to commercial matters like lairage.
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