At a meeting between the IFA and main live exporters in Portlaoise, IFA President Joe Healy said the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed must prioritise the live trade in order to achieve a doubling in export numbers in 2019.
“A strong live export trade is absolutely essential for price competition in the cattle trade and for providing major market outlets, especially for calves and weanlings,” he said.
Mr. Healy said the exporters highlighted a number of key issues for the live trade which must be addressed by Minister Creed and the Department of Agriculture.
He added that maximising ferry and lairage capacity is key to meeting the export supply and demand for calves this year.
“IFA has made it very clear to Minister Creed that he cannot allow the EU restrict Irish live exports to the EU single market and under no circumstances can he accept any reduction in the 29-day period.
“Exporters also raised issues regarding access to Turkey and the need to make more progress on our disease status,” he said.
IFA National Livestock Chairman Angus Woods said live exports reached 246,000 in 2018, of which 158,000 were calves. Weanlings and stores made up 64,000 head and adult cattle 24,000.