May 19th 2015
ICSA sheep chairman John Brooks has called on Minister Coveney and the European Commission to update the terms and conditions for the live export of sheep.
“The current live export terms and conditions pre-date the sophisticated electronic tagging system which is now well-established in Ireland, and need to be updated to take account of this,” said Mr. Brooks.
“The rules presently state that sheep purchased in a livestock sale have to reside in the live exporters’ holding for a minimum of 30 days before they are eligible for export to an EU feedlot. Live exporters simply cannot do business in a volatile market 30-plus days in advance.”
“We in ICSA feel that the terms and conditions for the live export of sheep should be similar to those for exporting calves. Calves purchased in a livestock mart by a live exporter can be brought to a Department-approved holding year on the date of purchase, and if deemed fit to travel by a vet, can be exported immediately.”
“Over 80% of sheep produced in Ireland have to be exported,” continued Mr. Brooks. “Easy access to live exports is vital to provide much needed competition in the market place. It is imperative that Minister Coveney and the European Commission give this issue the urgent attention it requires.”