Irish livestock hauliers were targeted and issued fines at the port of Cherbourg, the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA) has said.

ICSA president Seán McNamara said the organisation is seeking clarification around the on-the-spot traffic offence fines issued to livestock hauliers, which it understands range from €1,500 to €12,500.

“The events that transpired in Cherbourg last week can only be described as an ambush on live exports. It is clear that these Irish officials. . . were instructed to target Irish livestock hauliers on French soil and we need an explanation as to why.

“Not only did the hauliers involved have to pay exorbitant fines, they were also delayed to such an extent that the ship departed without them.

Additional costs

“This led to further additional costs both on the ground in France and here at home, with scheduled pick-ups missed due to the trucks being prevented from sailing,” McNamara said.

McNamara added that livestock hauliers are being singled out above other hauliers.

“Live exports are a vital part of Irish farming and we cannot stand by while livestock hauliers are being singled out over their non-livestock-carrying counterparts.

“This sort of unfair targeting will either drive hauliers out of business or force them to cease transporting livestock altogether and it cannot be allowed to continue,” he said.