Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Billy Kelleher has taken a position against imposing a maximum travel time on animals being exported.
He said it was a “red line” for him in a statement made upon his recent promotion to being a full member of the European Parliament’s Committee of Inquiry into Animal Transport (ANIT).
“Every year, Irish farmers export nearly 300,000 live animals off the island to the EU and further afield, amounting to an economic boost of over €400m,” Kellher said.
“My position is very clear on this matter – the highest animal welfare standards must be applied at all stages of the supply chain. This is non-negotiable for me. I do believe the industry is ready and willing to increase its own standards.
“Over the past number of weeks, I have been in discussions with farmers and hauliers and they recognise that they must do more to improve quality and standards. I am confident that they will rise to the challenge.
“Another red line for me is my complete opposition to an arbitrary maximum travel time. Such a limit could destroy the Irish live export sector.”
He said as an island nation, it was vital that Ireland maintains the ability to export animals without any delays caused by Brexit. Kelleher said he was hopeful he could represent the issues facing Irish trade and farmers at Committee level when deliberations took place.