Live animal exports


Sir, – The Government has struck a deal to export live pigs to China, an 8,000km journey (“Plans to export live pigs to China condemned”, News, October 20th). This may be commercially defensible to vested interests, but it is morally indefensible on animal welfare grounds and environmental grounds. How does flying pigs half way around the world fit with the Government’s supposed drive toward greater sustainability?

The practice of live animal exports from Ireland, where they endure long journeys, often in inhumane conditions, must end. It involves the protracted suffering of sentient, defenceless animals.

In 2019, undercover video footage showed exported Irish calves as young as two weeks old being beaten, kicked and punched.

I would like to think that even people who eat these animals would wish to minimise their suffering before they are slaughtered. It has been well documented that some of the countries where animals are exported to from Ireland have very poor welfare standards.

A nation of “animal lovers”? The truth is that it depends on what species of animal you are talking about. In Ireland, we have a blind spot when it comes to the welfare of certain animals. People find the torture and consumption of dogs in other countries morally repugnant, but exported Irish animals have been subjected to torture and cruel treatment before they were slaughtered.

It is high time to end this cruel and environmentally damaging trade. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 16.