Farm Ireland

Saturday 18 November 2017

New Dutch live calf export rules fails to 'impede' Irish exports - Department

Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

The Department of Agriculture has said new rules on live exports by authorities in the Netherlands has not damaged Ireland’s crucial trade with the country.

Out of overall Dutch imports of approximately 750,000 calves last year, Ireland supplied 27,000 head, well behind Germany (550,000) and Belgium (50,000).

According to the Department of Agriculture, the issues arising in relation to exports of live cattle to the Netherlands derive from the Dutch interpretation of the European Union rules on animal transport.

The Netherlands has been applying a particular interpretation to EU rules in relation to the approval of trucks carrying unweaned calves which is proving difficult to comply with.

Dutch authorities implemented a new directive in spring 2016 which requires Irish transporters to make an additional feeding stop within 9 hours of departing the resting station in France.

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and other Member States are continuing to work with industry and the Dutch Authorities to come up with a workable technical or other solution to the issue.

However, it said it should be noted, that this has not impeded the export of calves from Ireland to the Netherlands.

At present Ireland has authorised four dedicated ships for live cattle exports.

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There are also four roll on - roll off ferries which have been authorised to carry live animals for export.

One of these roll on-roll off vessels is restricted to carrying live animals between Ireland and the UK while the remaining three can transport live animals to France.

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