Additional lairage facilities needed for live exports – Brendan Smith TD

Calves_3_OGP.jpg

Cavan/Monaghan Fianna Fáil T.D. Brendan Smith has raised with the Agriculture Minister the fears of the farming community that calf exports could face a bottleneck in France at the peak time for live exports.

In Dáil Éireann Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he had discussed with the French authorities the need to increase lairage facilities at Cherbourg; if he has had discussions with Irish Ferries in regard to scheduling of sailings in view of delays in the export of calves; and if he would make a statement on the matter.

The Minister for Agriculture in his reply stated –

“My Department acknowledge the value and importance of live exports to Ireland’s agribusiness and I am aware of the challenges within the live export trade, particularly that of capacity in lairages in France. Calves being exported must, for welfare reasons, be off-loaded, fed and rested for 12 hours on arrival in France. The current lairages in the Cherbourg region have capacity for some 4,000 calves on any one day.

My Department visited Cherbourg in the Autumn and met with their French counterparts to discuss this matter. More recently, they provided briefing to the IFA before its delegation visited the lairage near the port of Cherbourg recently.

My Department officials are in on-going communication with the Irish exporters with regard to the need for co-operation to ensure that the lairage capacity at Cherbourg is optimised. Industry has been advised to make contact with their business partners in France to explore options around the increase of this capacity.

My Department offers regulatory assistance and approval to commercial providers of transport that is required for accessing important export markets. There is  on-going communication with the various operators but the choices of routes and frequency of operation remain within  the remit of the commercial providers”, stated Minister Creed.

PQ attached –

______________________________________________
For Written Answer on : 28/02/2019
Question Number(s): 188 Question Reference(s): 10169/19
Department: Agriculture, Food and the Marine
Asked by: Brendan Smith T.D.
______________________________________________

QUESTION

To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine if he has discussed with the French authorities the need to increase lairage facilities at Cherbourg; if he has had discussions with a company (details supplied) in regard to scheduling of sailings in view of delays in the export of calves; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Details Supplied) Irish Ferries

REPLY

My Department acknowledge the value and importance of live exports to Ireland’s agribusiness and I am aware of the challenges within the live export trade, particularly that of capacity in lairages in France. Calves being exported must, for welfare reasons, be off-loaded, fed and rested for 12 hours on arrival in France. The current lairages in the Cherbourg region have capacity for some 4,000 calves on any one day.

My Department visited Cherbourg in the Autumn and met with their French counterparts to discuss this matter. More recently, they provided briefing to the IFA before its delegation visited the lairage near the port of Cherbourg recently.

My Department officials are in on-going communication with the Irish exporters with regard to the need for co-operation to ensure that the lairage capacity at Cherbourg is optimised. Industry has been advised to make contact with their business partners in France to explore options around the increase of this capacity.

My Department offers regulatory assistance and approval to commercial providers of transport that is required for accessing important export markets. There is  on-going communication with the various operators but the choices of routes and frequency of operation remain within  the remit of the commercial providers.