A vote in the European Parliament which could ban live exports is set to take place this Thursday.
The proposed rules have come from the ANIT Committee (Committee of Inquiry into the Protection of Animals During Transport).
ICSA President Dermot Kelleher described it as an "extreme position" was taken by the ANIT committee, despite opposition from the Irish representatives on the committee, and "would lead to a complete ban on transport and live export of any animal under 35 days, as well as a ban on transport of cows and heifers in their third trimester of pregnancy."
“Many of the supporters of the extreme ANIT position think that this will deliver higher animal welfare standards. What ICSA wants to see is the actual implementation of the 2005 animal transport regulations on an even-handed basis across all 27 member states. This has not always happened in certain countries."
ICMSA President Pat McCormack said farmers were not convinced that the Government was standing up for Ireland’s position with the degree of determination and national self-interest that was going to be required if this vital market outlet was to be maintained.
“It’s not enough for the Irish Government to just express concern and monitor the situation when that debate is moving decisively against us. Be under no illusion: Ireland needs calf exports.”