Two more boats for live exports under inspection by Department
The Department of Agriculture is currently inspecting two further boats for live exports, it has confirmed, as total live export figures for the year are up 30pc.
Currently, there are three dedicated livestock carriers approved by the Department of Agriculture, the Minister confirmed in recent days: MV Sarah, MV Alondra, and the MV Holstein Express.
He also told Fine Gael TD Fergus O'Dowd that his officials are in the process of completing inspections of two further vessels.
O'Dowd had questioned the Minister in the Dail last week about how live exports have performed to date in 2018.
Minister Creed said that live exports play a vital role in stimulating price competition and provide an alternative market outlet for farmers, while the on-going search for new markets is a priority for my Department, particularly in the context of Brexit.
"In 2018, up to November 10 over 227,000 head of cattle were exported. This is a 30pc increase on the period last year," he said.
Exports to other EU countries significantly increased this year over the same period last year (January to 10 November). The largest export market for cattle was Spain with exports of 84,000 head (up from 49,000), followed by the Netherlands at 48,000 (41,000 in 2017) and Italy at 23, 000 (up from 19,000), Minister Creed detailed.
The prospects for live cattle exports remain very good and his Department continues to engage with third countries and to seek out new markets for live exports.