The planned loading of a boat of cattle on Friday for Algeria has been cancelled. The exporters do not have the 1,300 bulls and bullocks required to fill the boat.

In a statement, the exporters said they would now look to fill the current order in France, with French cattle. The livestock carrier remains anchored off Waterford.

The statement said almost 700 animals which were available for export from three suppliers have been locked down as a result of suspected TB lesions identified at a factory.

Roundwood Park livestock director Dr Ahmad Salman said it was with great regret this decision to cancel the load had to be taken but the circumstances which unfolded this week rendered the shipment from Ireland impossible due to the difficulty in securing qualifying replacement stock at short notice.

It was all the more regrettable after the efforts made by Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed, some of his fellow TDs, the IFA and Department of Agriculture officials in taking significant steps and working together to reduce the difficulties to protect this new market for Irish beef, he said.

The Irish Farmers Journal understands the exporter has further contracts to be filled for Algeria over the coming weeks, and it is possible it may look to export future loads from here.