Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Questions (424)

Seán Fleming


424. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the details in respect of calf exports (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46347/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

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. My Department facilitates this trade, recognising its importance to the agri-food sector, while placing a strong emphasis on the welfare of all animals being transported. The Department continues to strictly enforce the transport of livestock rules as laid down in Council Regulation 1/2005. The age requirement in respect of long journeys is set out in Chapter VI of the Regulation; i.e. older than 14 days.

In 2017, my Department reduced the veterinary inspection fee payable on live exports of calves under three months of age to €1.20 per animal, from €4.80. This gave an important boost to the trade in calves.

The available compiled statistics relating to calves exported refer to those under 3 months. In 2018, this amounted to 157,417, and to date in 2019, this has amounted to 192,844.