The Minister of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D., today welcomed the approval by the French Authorities of an increase in the holding capacity of one of the lairages at Cherbourg which facilitates the processing of animal exports to the EU.
Based on current ferry sailing schedules, this provides increased capacity of some 1,200 animals per week or 400 animals per day.
Minister Creed went on to say that “Live exports are a critical part of the infrastructure of our livestock industry. They play a significant role in stimulating price competition and provide an alternative market outlet for farmers.”
“One of the constraints faced by exporters has been the limited lairage capacity at Cherbourg.”
He welcomed the initiative of the lairage owner in France to expand his facilities which has now been approved by the French Authorities.
“I would like to acknowledge the responsiveness of the French Authorities, who understanding the significant importance of this route for Irish exports, have moved quickly to approve the facility.”
The provision of such lairage facilities is a matter for private industry; however, staff from his Department have had on-going contacts with the exporters in Ireland, lairage owners in France and the French authorities over recent months to explore options to facilitate further trade, Creed said.
The Minister had also raised the matter with the French Minister for Foreign Affairs when they met in Dublin recently.
In welcoming this increased capacity, Minister Creed emphasised the absolute need for exporters to ensure strict adherence to the transport regulation to ensure the welfare of the animals at all times.