Liam Gilligan, Chairman, Leitrim IFA Livestock Committee, said the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney must insist that a full and flexible veterinary inspection service is available at all times to facilitate the live export trade.
HE said “it is not acceptable that valuable live exports are being put at risk or lost to Ireland because of the unavailability of veterinary inspectors from the Department of Agriculture”.
“Because of shipping deadlines and to facilitate the highest welfare standards it is necessary that veterinary inspectors are available to the live export trade during out of office times such as early mornings and on Saturdays,” he added.
The IFA livestock Chairman said a number of exporters have explained to IFA that recent cutbacks to the Department service has left it almost impossible for them to meet certain shipping deadlines and departure times. He said “it is not acceptable that valuable live exports are being put at risk or lost because of a lack of service from the Department of Agriculture”.
“This matter needs to be urgently addressed by the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney and a full flexible veterinary inspection service must be in place to facilitate the live export trade.”