Live exports continue to be an important component of Ireland’s livestock industry and my Department promotes and maintains an environment in which live exports take place with a strong emphasis on the welfare of all animals being exported.
There is a very detailed and comprehensive inspection regime in place and officials of my Department perform mandatory, random and risk-based inspections on all vehicles involved in live animal transport. In Ireland in the vast majority of cases the loading of vehicles for export is supervised by an Official Veterinarian from DAFM - as the point of loading is considered a critical control point in relation to welfare during transport. The inspection regime in Ireland goes above and beyond the requirements of EU legislation in this regard, highlighting the importance placed on welfare during transport. I am satisfied that the current inspection system offers good safeguards in relation to animal welfare and at this time it would be unnecessary to have inspectors on all transports.