Live cattle exports from Ireland to Libya should restart by February at the latest, according to the Irish Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney.
The minister said that his officials were working hard on getting a boat approved for live exports in January or February.
He told a meeting in Dublin:
"Libya is the most likely destination but there are real welfare issues around this. It's no joke crossing the Bay of Biscay in January and the last thing I want is reports of cattle breaking legs on their journey to wherever."
He added that the live shipping of cattle was not his preferred way of dealing with Irish cattle because of the loss of added value and jobs by not processing them here.
Libya was a major outlet for Irish live cattle in the 1980s and early 1990s until trade closed as a result of the BSE crisis, but according to the report from the Irish Independent, exporters will now require payment upfront for all cattle exported to Libya.
(Source: Irish Independent)