Exporting live cattle
Sir, – Exports of live animals to countries such as Libya and Turkey cannot be justified (“Plea to halt cattle exports to ‘horrendous’ Libyan slaughterhouses”, News, July 26th).
Last week thousands of Irish cattle, hundreds in calf, were loaded on a vessel in Cork and shipped to Libya, a journey that lasted over seven long days and nights.
The sweltering heat, lack of fresh air, and stress of the journey may result in some not surviving, but death in these circumstances would be preferable to what awaits them. They will be slaughtered without stunning by such barbaric methods as throat-cutting.
Despite the concerns voiced by Compassion in World Farming and other welfare organisations, Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed refuses to ban live exports. In his capacity as Minister, he should be protecting and ensuring the welfare of these animals.
New Zealand, a country of a similar size and farming interests as Ireland, banned live exports in 2007.
In the field of animal welfare, Ireland scores very poorly versus many of our European neighbours, and allowing these journeys of horror to continue serves to further damage our reputation. – Yours, etc,
Sir, – The resumed Libyan trade is a disastrous development for the unfortunate animals that have to endure these long and arduous journeys, at the end of which is an unimaginably horrible death.
Investigations into slaughter in the Middle East, Turkey and North Africa have shown that animals are subjected to extremely rough handling and inhumane, incompetent slaughter while they are fully conscious.
The IFA and its members will argue that live exports are essential for competition in the livestock sector. In my view, no economic argument can justify this trade.