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14th June 2018 | Animal Welfare, Press Releases

Green Party supports ‘Stop Live Export!’ protest

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Today marks ‘Stop Live Transport International Awareness Day’, which aims to raise awareness about the plight of farm animals transported over long distances around the world.

It is somewhat hypocritical that we claim our farm animals are subject to ‘the highest animal welfare standards in the world’, yet we can turn such a blind eye to their welfare needs once they leave our shores – Pippa Hackett

Speaking today, Green Party Spokesperson on Agriculture Pippa Hackett said “Live export is an ugly and unsavoury aspect of the Irish agricultural sector, and yet it is consistently hailed as a wonderful success by our Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed, and by our state agency Bord Bía. It is somewhat hypocritical that we claim our farm animals are subject to ‘the highest animal welfare standards in the world’, yet we can turn such a blind eye to their welfare needs once they leave our shores.

“Since EU milk quotas were abolished in 2015, the government-driven, rapid expansion of the dairy herd, has seen a dramatic increase in the numbers of the by-products of this sector – young calves – being exported to EU countries for veal production

It was recently confirmed that a shipment of Irish calves from Rosslare to the Netherlands breached many EU animal welfare regulations

“Unfortunately, it was recently confirmed that a shipment of Irish calves from Rosslare to the Netherlands breached many of the EU animal welfare regulations put there to protect them during transportation. If this can happen with transport to mainland Europe, what confidence can we have for the welfare of the unfortunate animals that find themselves on a boat to North Africa or the Middle East for non-stun slaughter?

“Most suckler beef and sheep farmers I know, pride themselves on breeding and rearing their animals in a caring and considerate way, and would not choose this distressing and inhumane end to their animals.

“This is an issue of growing concern, and there is an increasing aversion amongst our citizens – food consumers, tourists, and conscientious individuals – who find that this unethical trade is in direct contrast to our ‘compassionate green image’ we so like to portray.

“Live export is not a solution to over production and poor marketing; and if Minister Creed and his policy makers, along with Bord Bía were doing their jobs properly, they would ensure that Irish animals destined for human consumption leave here on the hook, and not on the hoof.”

Green Party members will attend the ‘Compassion in World Farming Ireland’ protest to ‘Stop Live Export’ at the General Post Office in Dublin on Saturday 16th June from 2pm to 4pm.