Live cattle exporters plan reopening of Libyan market


Live cattle exporters have visited Ireland in recent weeks to plan the reopening of the Libyan market in the coming weeks.

Libya was a valuable market for Irish live cattle exports in the past, taking 81,420 cattle valued at more than €70 million in 1995. However, the business came to an abrupt stop in 1996 when Libya banned beef imports because of the BSE outbreak.

IFA president John Bryan said he had met with a major live exporter to north Africa in recent days, and it appeared that a ship would be ready in the coming weeks.

He said a strong live export trade was “absolutely essential” for the €2 billion Irish beef and livestock sector.

Mr Bryan also called for an immediate resumption of the live trade for livestock to Egypt and Lebanon.

However, he encouraged farmers to only accept secure payment.

“Farmers should sell their cattle through their local livestock mart where payment is secure, and insist on payment upfront if selling off the land.”