The export of in the region of 120,000 Irish dairy calves is under threat following an EU vote on new rules which, if passed, would effectively ban the transport of unweaned calves under five weeks of age.

The proposed new rules could lead to a ban on all transport for young animals under 35 days of age, transport time limits of two hours for unweaned animals over 35 days and a ban on the transport of pregnant animals in the last third of gestation.