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Live Exports Resumed: A Dark Day for Ireland

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Originally Posted: February 12, 2013

Live Exports Resumed: A Dark Day for Ireland

[Ed. Note: For more, read A 10-Day Journey from Ireland to Libya Where Cows Will Face the Worst]

FROM Compassion in World Farming


Long journeys by lorry and boat are extremely stressful for animals and can include: deprivation of food and water, lack of rest, poor handling by humans, overcrowding, insufficient headroom and stress caused by noise and vibration. Subjecting animals to this terrible suffering simply cannot be tolerated. TAKE ACTION TO STOP THE RESUMPTION OF THIS INHUMANE TRADE

Sign an online petition (copy/paste URL into your browser):

cattle transport live exportAnd/or better yet, make direct contact:

Mr. Simon Coveney
Agriculture House
Kildare St.
Dublin 2. Ireland
phone 01 607 2000
online feedback form:


A new front is opening up in the war on live exports. Ireland is due to re-start a trade in live cattle with Libya. The re-emergence of this trade after 10 years would be a disaster for animal welfare and the reputation of Irish farming.

Ireland to Libya – suffering piled on suffering

The journey by boat from Ireland to Libya could take 10 days – not including the journey to Waterford port and the onward journey in Libya. Animals suffer terribly during long journeys. But for these animals the end of the journey will bring no relief. Slaughter conditions in much of North Africa are frequently inhumane, with completely unacceptable practices being commonplace.

Demand the Irish Government takes action

The Irish Government has given its full support to the resumption of the live export trade with the Agriculture Minister, Mr Coveney, describing it as “progress”.

At the same time, Ireland is currently President of the Council of the European Union and, as part of this role, they hold the Presidency of the EU Agriculture Council.

Allowing this trade to go ahead – in the face of the extreme suffering it will cause and strong public opinion – clearly shows it would be unacceptable for the Irish Minister to act as President of the EU Agriculture Council when animal welfare is on the agenda.


Dear Mr Coveney,

I was very saddened to hear of the planned resumption of live exports of farm animals from Ireland to Libya. The long journey faced by these animals will involve considerable suffering. The slaughter of these animals in Libya is not likely to meet international standards and is likely to be brutal and inhumane. Once animals leave Ireland you are powerless to ensure that they are treated properly.

Public opinion is against live animal export. The resumption of this trade would be a significant step back for Ireland and place the reputation of Irish farming at risk.

If, instead of being exported, animals were slaughtered in Ireland (for meat exports), additional jobs and profits would be created in Irish abattoirs. The Irish economy would benefit from the added value derived from processing animals at home rather than exporting ‘raw material’ to the benefit of processors abroad.

The proposed live exports to Libya are in clear breach of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. Article 13 of the Treaty requires EU countries, in formulating and implementing their policies on agriculture and transport, to “pay full regard to the welfare requirements of animals”. Live exports to Libya pay no regard to animal welfare and are incompatible with the Treaty.

Please do everything in your power to prevent this trade resuming or at least to halt the planned shipment until a thorough review of the welfare implications of these exports has been completed. I believe that the Irish Government’s support of this inhumane trade and your position as President of the EU Agriculture Council are not compatible. Therefore if you are not going to halt the trade, I request you step aside from your Presidency role when animal welfare is being discussed.

Yours sincerely...

Thank you for everything you do for animals!

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