I fully recognise that live exports are an important market outlet for certain sectors of Ireland’s livestock industry. They play a significant role in stimulating price competition in the domestic sector and provide an alternative market outlet for farmers. They are, however, commercial transactions which can be impacted on by various factors.
There are challenges to be expected within the live export trade, and these challenges include that of capacity in lairages in France. It is noted that lairage capacity in Cherbourg has been increased in recent years from approximately 1,500 calves/day to 4,000 calves/day. Department officials are in ongoing communication with the Irish exporters with regard to the need for their co-operative management between each other to ensure that the lairage capacity at Cherbourg is optimised. Industry have been advised to make contact with their business partners in France to explore options around the increase of capacity at Cherbourg.