Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Questions (1126, 1143)

Richard Boyd Barrett

Question:

1126. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if his attention has been drawn to the campaign to stop live animals being transported to Libya; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19195/19]

View answer

Clare Daly

Question:

1143. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he will suspend live exports to Libya in view of the escalation of fighting. [18532/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1126 and 1143 together.

I am aware of the campaign to stop live animal exports to Libya.

Live exports are a critical part of Ireland’s livestock industry. They play a significant role in stimulating price competition and providing an alternative market outlet for farmers. The Department facilitates this trade, recognising its critical importance to the agri-sector, while ensuring that live animal exports meet the highest welfare standards. In 2018, the combined total value of live animal exports to the Irish economy was €161 million (€110 million for cattle; €49 million for pigs; €2 million for sheep), according to Bord Bia.

Ireland has agreed health certificates for the export of live animals (cattle, pigs, sheep and goats) with 18 third country markets. Last November, the Department reached agreement with Libya on a new veterinary health certificate for the export of breeding cattle, and an amended veterinary certificate for the export of fattening and slaughter cattle. In 2018, 5,500 cattle were exported to Libya, representing approximately 2% of total live exports of cattle for the year. To date in 2019, 1,900 cattle have been exported to the country, representing approximately 1% of total live exports of cattle for the year to date.

For its part, Ireland continues to work closely with other EU Member State and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) with a view to improving animal welfare practices worldwide. In this regard, Ireland has reaffirmed its on-going commitment to animal welfare through additional OIE multi-annual financial assistance (€75,000 per annum over the period 2017-20) to support its activities to enhance animal welfare worldwide.