First exports to Libya to leave in two weeks
After a break of more than 16 years the live cattle trade from Ireland to Libya is set to resume. International livestock trading and shipping company Al Mahmoud has teamed up with Irish exporter Waterford Livestock Export Ltd to make this happen.
Livestock carrier the Al Mahmoud Express, which has undergone major refurbishment to meet Irish standards, is due in Waterford port in two weeks' time to get its final approval and to be loaded with a consignment of 2,900 young bulls.
Over the past 10 days, directors of the Al Mahmoud Company have visited Irish farms along with Waterford Livestock Export Ltd directors Dermot Tobin and John Fleury identifying and sourcing the bulls for this first trial shipment. This will take beef cross bulls of 240kg to 350kg that are under 24 months. Probably most of these will be dairy crosses.
The bulls must be free of all skin blemishes such as ringworm and be fully dehorned and within 12 months of a TB test.
Assuming that the Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney, gives the Al Mahmoud Express the final OK, the cattle will be assembled at the export lairage in Waterford pre-shipping.
A spokesman for Waterford Livestock Export Ltd said that once the cattle were accepted, payment based on the delivered yard weight would be made either by cheque or electronic bank transfer to the seller's account.
Mr Omar Mahmoud Chouihna, director of Al Mahmoud, said he wanted beef cross bulls for this first shipment but that later consignments will look at Holstein bulls as well.
His company operates five large cattle boats and is involved in global livestock farming and trading. He said he was also interested in getting a sister ship to the Al Mahmoud Express upgraded to Irish specification.