The Al Mahmoud vessel has now left Waterford -February 2013 loaded with Cattle to make the 10-day trip to Tripoli in Libya.We know they tried to avoid the media and our VIGIL held on TUESDAY resulted in the ship leaving early to ‘avoid trouble at the dock’. Five security manned the checkpoint and even RTE were refused access to the ship.
Two Irish firms Murphy Hunter International and Quinn International are partnering with Syrian business Al Mahmoud to export the cattle to Libya.
We want to stop this trade and we ASK your help
• It will be early April before the vessel returns to Waterford, at which point Mr Hunter hopes it will operate full-time on a three-week shipping route between North Africa and Ireland. If the route becomes established, it would provide an outlet for 40,000-50,000 head of the extra 150,000 cattle that are predicted to come on-stream in Ireland later this year.
• I have been told that these cattle have been bred by farmers who cannot afford to buy their feed. Mr Hunter, whose firm already export cattle to Morocco, Spain and Italy.said that there was also a possibility of Friesian type animals being included in future shipments.
• Minister Coveney has repeatedly stressed the importance of any live-shipping venture adhering to the highest animal welfare standards. "It's no joke crossing the Bay of Biscay in January and the last thing I want is reports of cattle breaking legs on their journey to wherever," Mr Coveney said recently.
• When loaded, the boat will make the 10-day trip to Tripoli in Libya. It will be early April before it returns to Waterford, at which point Mr Hunter hopes it will operate full-time on a three-week shipping route between North Africa and Ireland.