May 29, 2020
Business News

What a load of bull! Live exports of Wicklow firm’s cattle to Algeria cancelled again

A Wicklow company’s shipment of 1,200 bulls and bullocks due to sail for North Africa last week but then cancelled and then rescheduled for for this Friday has been cancelled again.

In a statement, Roundwood Park Livestock Limited and Premium Livestock said that almost 700 animals available from three suppliers that were due to be shipped on the consignment “have been locked down” as a result of “suspect lesions identified at the factory of animals slaughtered last week”.

As a result, the exporter said the development posed “an insurmountable obstacle” to delivering the shipment from Ireland – which the promoter also outlined as “particularly important” to the Algerian market for the ending of Ramadan (April 23 to May 23).

In order to protect the contract, Roundwood Park Livestock Limited and Premium Livestock have now made arrangements to make the shipment from France.

“It was with great regret this decision had to be taken; but the circumstances which unfolded this week rendered the shipment impossible from Ireland, due to the obvious difficulty in securing qualifying replacement stock at such short notice,” Dr. Ahmad Salman, the director of Wicklow-based Roundwood Park Livestock, said.

“It is all the more regrettable having regard to the efforts of the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, some of his fellow TDs, the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) and department officials in taking significant steps and working together to reduce the difficulties to protect this new market for Irish beef,” the statement concluded.

Up to 6,000 live bulls and bullocks could still leave Belview Port in South Kilkenny over the coming months on route to North Africa and the Middle East after an agreement was reached between the Wicklow exporter Roundwood Park Livestock, the Department of Agriculture and Algerian authorities surrounding health concerns and health certification of the animals.

The first of these sailings will see 1,200 animals leave Belview Port this Friday, May 22.

The livestock vessel the Sarah M, which was due to carry the animals, had been expected to return to the European mainland following news the export had been cancelled, however, the ship never left the Hook Peninsula and maintained its holding position off the Waterford coast for more than two weeks since it arrived in Irish waters on May 4.

Roundwood Park Livestock announced last week its planned cattle shipment to Algeria had been cancelled due to issues regarding health certificate requirements but after concerted efforts from all parties, including Department of Agriculture and Algerian authorities, the exports were given the goahead for this Friday, May 22.

Chair of Waterford Animal Concern John Tierney has welcomed the news:

“Waterford Animal Concern is delighted that this live cattle shipment is cancelled but says its campaign to end live animal exports will continue until no more livestock ships set sail from Ireland to non-EU countries,” he said.

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