Turkey suspending live exports of cattle "a further setback for Irish beef farmers"

FarmIreland Team

Sinn Féin Agricultural spokesperson Martin Kenny TD has described the news that Turkey has suspended live exports of cattle as "a further setback for Irish beef farmers."

Deputy Kenny said Live exports is a very important part of the Irish beef sector and it will be a huge loss to farmers bringing cattle to market. 

"There will be a noticeable loss of buyers for the export market around rings in markets up and down the country.

He said he has previously called on the Minister to develop more export markets to ensure there is some competition for Irish meat factories.

"I will be raising this again with the Minister as action needs to be taken to ensure Irish beef farmers are protected especially with Brexit coming down the tracks."

During 1 January to 1 December 2018 live exports totalled 235,000 head of cattle, up 32pc from 179,000 for the same period in 2017.

This change was driven by a significant increase in exports to other EU countries. Exports to third countries decreased in 2018 – due in part to currency fluctuations in the Turkish Lira. Nevertheless, nearly 13, 000 head of cattle were exported to Turkey to date this year.

Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed has said the on-going search for new markets is a priority for his Department.

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In November the Department reached agreement with the Libyan authorities on veterinary health certificates for the export of breeding, fattening and slaughter cattle.

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