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Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 17 January 2019

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Questions (204)

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

204. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the countries to which Ireland has live exports; the breakdown of cattle exported to each country in 2018, by sector, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2277/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Live exports are a critical part of the infrastructure of our livestock industry. They play a significant role in stimulating price competition and provide an alternative market outlet for farmers. They are however commercial transactions which can be impacted on by various factors. My Department continues to engage with authorities in third countries to seek to agree market access and to agree relevant health certification requirements to facilitate such trade.

In 2018 live exports totalled 246,226 head of cattle, up 31% from 188,334 for on 2017. This change was driven by a significant increase in exports to other EU countries. Calf exports to Spain increased by 66%, to over 72,500 head in 2018. Exports of Irish calves to Italy and the Netherlands also increased last year, to over 12,500 and 48,500 head respectively. Calf exports to Belgium and France increased from 4,200 to 13,000 head and from 2,500 to 8,500 head, from 2017 to 2018 respectively.

Exports to third countries decreased in 2018 – due in part to currency fluctuations in the Turkish Lira. Nevertheless, nearly 13,000 head of cattle were exported to Turkey last year.

In November my Department reached agreement with the Libyan authorities on veterinary health certificates for the export of breeding, fattening and slaughter cattle. A new certificate for breeding cattle and an amended veterinary certificate for the export of fattening and slaughter cattle were agreed. Having an agreed health cert for breeding cattle provides much more clarity for exporters, as previously exports of breeding cattle to Libya had to be agreed on a load by load basis. The age of cattle that can be exported to Libya increased, from 24 to 30 months – this increases opportunities for exporters to export a wider range of cattle. Live exports to Libya more than doubled in 2018 over 2017 to 5,450 head.

Details of all cattle exports in 2018 are set out in the following table.

In December 2018, Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen TD, discussed animal health certificates with the Egyptian Deputy Minister for Agriculture. The Egyptian authorities indicated willingness to consider amending existing health certificates and putting a new certificate for breeding stock in place. My Department continues to work with the Egyptian authorities on re-establishing certification to facilitate live trade as soon as possible.

In December 2018 my Department extended an invitation to Kazakhstan to send a technical team to visit Ireland with a view to begin negotiations for live exports.

The prospects for live cattle exports remain good and my Department continues to engage with third countries and to seek out new markets for live exports.

Agreed health certificates with over 20 non-EU countries, including 11 for the export of cattle, and 7 for sheep, pigs and goats are overseen by my Department. The list of countries and the certificates are available on my Department’s website.

Third Country/Territory

Type

Albania

Breeding and/or Production Cattle

Australia

Horses

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Breeding and Production Cattle

Canada

Horses

China

Pigs for BreedingHorses

Egypt

Slaughtering CattleFattening Cattle

Hong Kong

Horses

Kenya

Breeding Pigs

Korea, Republic of

Horses

Lebanon

Breeding Cattle <36 mtsFattening/ Slaughter Cattle <36 mts

Libya

Fattening and Slaughter Cattle/Males <30 mtsSheep Fattening & SlaughterBreeding Cattle

Montenegro

Bovines for Breeding or Production

Morocco

Beef CattleBreeding Cattle

Russia

Breeding Cattle

Serbia

Breeding and Production Cattle

Singapore

Sheep/Goats for Slaughter

Tunisia

Fattening CattleBreeding Heifers

Turkey

Fattening Cattle

Male Breeding BovinesCattle for SlaughterFemale Breeding CattleHorses

Ukraine

Breeding Pigs

UAE

Horses

USA

Horses

Live cattle exports by Country

2018

Great Britain

5,488

Northern Ireland

24,645

Belgium

13,459

France

9,055

Greece

1,559

Italy

24,145

Netherlands

48,922

Spain

92,495

Czech Republic

711

Hungary

193

Germany

185

Lebanon

355

Kosovo

61

Morocco

686

Poland

2,665

Portugal

136

Romania

792

Rwanda

79

Slovakia

1,820

Tunisia

164

Libya

5,450

Russia

291

Turkey

12,870

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