A shipment of nearly 3,000 cattle arrived in Libya today after a nine day sea journey from Waterford, Ireland, breaching an EU Treaty on animal welfare.
Such live exports to Libya are in breach of EU regulations (Article 13 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union). It is clear that Irish cattle are likely to suffer greatly during these lengthy journeys. This trade is not paying "full regard" to animal welfare; indeed, it seems to be largely ignoring the well-being of the animals and paying virtually no regard to their welfare.
These animals who have survived the arduous sea journey face further suffering once they reach Libya. The Irish cattle will likely be crammed onto an overcrowded truck to continue their already very stressful journey onto a feedlot or slaughterhouse. Injured or sick animals are unlikely to receive any veterinary care before they are packed onto the truck.
In addition, Irish cattle are likely to be slaughtered without being stunned. Their throats will be cut while they are fully conscious and they will be left to bleed to death.
The Irish Government has given its full support to the resumption of the live export trade with the Agriculture Minister, Mr Coveney, describing it as "progress".
Emma Slawinski, Compassion's Head of Campaigns and Advocacy says: "We are sad to hear that the first shipment of 3,000 cattle has now docked in Libya. Worse still is that this long distance trade has re-emerged and will be continuing, meaning more animals will suffer.
"This barbaric trade needs to stop. Compassion calls on the Irish Agricultural Minister to stand down from his role as the President of the EU Agriculture Council. It is wholly inappropriate that Ireland is shipping live cattle across the world when animal welfare is on the council's agenda."