The organisation 'Compassion in World Farming' (CIWF) is calling on the Irish government to ban live animal exports.

Despite the fact that it is generally believed that restrictions on live animal exports from Ireland are amongst the most stringent in the world, CIWF is calling for a complete ban on live animal exports. The group argue that the ordeal suffered by animals in transit is just too extreme. 

Mary Ann Bartlee from CIWF says that transporting live animals on long journeys will inevitably result in suffering and argues

It is a trade founded on animal suffering.

The export of live cattle to Egypt stopped in January 1996 and before this time the market was worth £150 million a year.  Members of the Irish Farmers Association (IFA) recently met with the Egyptian Ambassador with a view to reopening trade.

Green Party TD John Gormley says that rather than opening up the same lines of trade, the government should be focusing on the meat processing industry in Ireland to make sure that the slaughter of animals takes place at home which would at the very least spare animals the ordeal of a long journey.

The cruelty involved is immense and we really do need to look at banning live exports at this stage and concentrate processing here in Ireland.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 28 August 1997. The reporter is Barry Turley.