IFA National Livestock Committee Chairman Henry Burns has welcomed the progress announced by the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney regarding the re-opening of the beef and live cattle market to Libya. “Minister Coveney has stated he is optimistic he will be in a position to officially confirm this very soon.”
Henry Burns said re-opening the live cattle market to Libya and other Middle Eastern and North African countries is extremely important for Ireland’s €2bn livestock sector, and particularly cattle price competition. He said it is essential that the Minister takes every step to ensure that the trade resumes without delay and gets cattle moving to Libya over the next number of months.
IFA understands that good progress has been made on market access to Libya through high-level Government contacts with the new Libyan Minister for Agriculture. Minister Coveney has now said that the next step is to agree veterinary health certificates with the Libyan authorities and it is essential that these certificates fully accommodate Irish beef and live cattle.
The IFA livestock leader pointed out that in the past Libya has proved to be a very strong market for Irish live cattle exports, taking 81,420 head of cattle valued at over €70m in 1995.
Henry Burns said with an increase in the number of younger stock, particularly from the dairy herd retained on Irish farms over the last two seasons, it was never more important for Minister Coveney to secure the re-opening of the live cattle trade to Libya.