IFA President Tim Cullinan said the recent voting through of key amendments on animal transport in the European Parliament goes some way towards safeguarding competition in the cattle trade but that more needs to be done to convince legislators that Ireland is meeting the highest standards.
However, the IFA President acknowledged the work done by Irish MEPs to get backing in the European Parliament for the amendments.
“From the position of Irish farming, it was vital that the key amendments were carried, but our campaign will continue. IFA will be working with others through COPA and our MEPs to build support for animal transport, given its critical role for Ireland as an island nation,” he said.
“Our calves are highly sought after in the European market. They are very robust and healthy, and thrive well. Our animal welfare and transport are of the highest standard, which is why there is such demand for our calves”.
IFA Livestock Chairman Brendan Golden, who is also in Strasbourg, said the recommendations from the ANIT Committee in the European Parliament for live animal transport had the potential to severely impact the competitive trade in this country, including the movements of in-calf animals, which is a key trade for farmers and marts.
“Irish farmers support and implement the highest welfare standards in the world and this includes the strictly controlled transport of animals. Seeking to change the rules because other countries fail to implement them was not acceptable,” he said.