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Second Irish Live Export consignment has arrived in Libya

Close up of bulls being loaded onto a ship in Ireland

A new front has opened up in the war on live exports. In February, Ireland restarted the trade in live cattle with Libya. The re-emergence of this trade after 10 years poses a disaster for animal welfare and the reputation of Irish farming.

A second consignment has arrived in Libya.

Ireland to Libya – suffering piled on suffering

The journey in February by boat from Ireland to Libya took 9 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.

Australia has recently suspended all exports to Egypt following horrific images of the treatment of cattle being mistreated in Egyptian slaughterhouses. Egypt are a member of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and should meet OIE standards for the treatment of animals in transport. This latest footage shows that this is clearly not the case. It is likely that the conditions animals face in Libya will be similar to those in Egypt.

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.

Inhumane journey by road and sea

Long journeys are stressful for animals and can include:

  • deprivation of food and water
  • lack of rest
  • poor handling by humans
  • overcrowding
  • insufficient headroom
  • stress caused by noise and vibration

Cruel slaughter

Previous Compassion investigations into slaughter conditions in North Africa/Middle East have found:

  • animals being roughly – even brutally – handled
  • animals dragged into the place of slaughter
  • cruel methods of handling e.g. the leg tendons of cattle being severed with a knife to control them

We need your help. Join us to call on the Irish Government to make a simple choice:

1. Stop this trade immediately;
or
2. Step aside from its role as President of the EU Agriculture Council when animal welfare is being discussed.

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