IFA National Dairy Chairman Tom Phelan has said “that the brutality shown towards calves in Cherbourg by an individual was despicable.”
“Live exports are extremely important for Irish agriculture. They are highly regulated by the Department of Agriculture to ensure animal comfort, which is exactly as it should be.”
“While this incident occurred in Cherbourg, France, they were Irish calves. Irish farmers are outraged to see any animal being treated so badly”.
“We understand that the individual in question has been arrested. He should be subject to the full rigours of the law because his actions were wrong and totally unacceptable,” he concluded.
Speaking about the matter, a spokesperson for the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine said: “The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine condemns in the strongest terms any ill-treatment of livestock and would urge any persons who have direct knowledge or evidence of breaches of animal welfare to report it directly to the relevant authorities without any delay.”
"In relation to the export of live animals, Ireland applies strict controls in relation to the welfare of animals including during transport and has procedures and checks in place to ensure compliance with EU and national legislation.”
Prior to export, all livestock undergo an animal health and welfare check carried out by a Department Official Veterinarian to ensure that only fit and healthy livestock are certified for export, the spokesperson stressed.
"All trucks are inspected and checked for water, spacing and other legislative requirements prior to departure. Where non-compliance is identified, appropriate remedial action is taken." concluded the spokesperson.