Leading farm animal welfare charity Compassion in Ireland is calling on the government to ban the live export of our farm animals. A petition with over 23,000 signatures was submitted today to the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed TD.
Green Party Spokesperson on Animal Welfare Pippa Hackett said “Exporting live animals within the EU is one thing, but exporting them to countries outside of the EU is another thing entirely, and we have all been exposed to some of the distressing images and inhumane slaughter practices that can exist in some of these countries. For Bord Bia and Minister Creed to hail this particular export as a success, and to actively seek out more, is at best misguided, and at worst an act of wanton animal cruelty.
“Live export to non-EU countries represents about 1.5% total amount of beef exported, yet this insignificant amount is allegedly propping up the struggling Irish beef market. The Government must do more to support our beef farmers, by ensuring a fairer pay for their cattle, and by finding more lucrative markets for our beef. Live export is not the answer. We need to increase consumer perception and improve our green image, and it's high time the Irish government took a stand to stop this trade, and maintain high animal welfare standards for all our livestock, from birth and throughout their lives.”
Compassion in Ireland’s Spokesperson Caroline Rowley, said “Studies have shown that journeys over eight hours are detrimental to an animal’s health, yet live export from Ireland can last several days or weeks, and the animals can suffer from severe stress, exhaustion, dehydration, injuries, and even death. Calves as young as two weeks old are sent on lengthy journeys to the Netherlands and Spain. Their immune systems are not fully developed making them susceptible to illness. Animals aren’t cargo, they are sentient beings, and are recognised as such under EU law. We should be creating jobs and adding value here in Ireland, and exporting high quality meat products, instead of exporting our animals live, as a raw material.”