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Stop the Suffering - End the Export of Live Farm Animals from Ireland

This petition had 22,759 supporters


Every year thousands of cattle are transported from Ireland to the EU and third countries. These journeys can last several days or weeks, sometimes in crowded trucks or ships, and the animals can suffer from severe stress, exhaustion, dehydration, injuries, extreme heat and even death.

Young calves are exported to the Netherlands and Spain even though it is impossible to give them liquid and feed on board the trucks as required by EU law.  Weanlings are sent on long journeys to Italy and Spain where they are reared in barren feedlots.  Already this year almost 60,000 calves have been exported to the Netherlands, Spain and Belgium.

In 2016 2,000 cattle were shipped to Libya; the country is war-torn and without any effective authorities.  It is very unlikely that any attempt is made to ensure that slaughter is carried out in accordance with the international OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health) standards on welfare at slaughter.

In 2016 trade re-opened with Turkey and 12,000 cattle were shipped there. The journey takes up to two weeks which is very stressful for animals and there is not always a vet on board. Undercover footage has shown that slaughter in Turkey involves immense suffering. They have no legislation in place there to protect farm animals. Already this year 3,000 calves have been shipped to Turkey and there are plans to ship thousands more.

There are also plans to send cattle to Egypt. In Egyptian slaughterhouses the leg tendons of cattle are often severed with a knife to control them.  Some are repeatedly beaten on the head with poles until they collapse.  Slaughter is often so inept that cattle take a long time to die as they slowly bleed to death. 

In 2016 48,000 lambs were exported, 75% of which for slaughter at religious festivals.  In September over 120 lambs died during a flight from Shannon to Singapore. They were part of a consignment of 1,704 lambs sent to Singapore for ritual slaughter. 



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