The High Court has heard that it is transporting calves by sea from Ireland to mainland Europe in a “animal cruelty-equivalent” manner, violating EU regulations on animal welfare.

This allegation was made by a lawyer representing Ethical Farming Ltd, a non-governmental organization that campaigns against animal cruelty and promotes ethical and sustainable farming practices for live exports of non-weaned calves. ..

The group raised concerns with the Minister of Agriculture and the state about concerns that such calves would be allowed to go without feed or liquid on a sea trip to the European continent, which could last for more than 24 hours. I have filed an objection to the High Court.

Travel time

Ethical agriculture says a journey approved by the minister can take up to 28 hours to complete.

Such trips taken by companies involved in the transportation of livestock must be formally approved by the Minister before they can be carried out.

By permitting these trips, the group claims that the minister and state are implementing policies that are effective in exposing calves to excessive pain and injury.

The group states that the minister has confirmed that calves cannot be individually liquid or watered during these journeys.

EU welfare regulations

They say this is a violation of EU animal welfare regulations.

The group also claims that the carrier has not retained or provided the minister with appropriate information regarding the time of departure from where the calf was first loaded onto the heavy truck.

The group argues that proper and accurate logging is required under EU law.

This group requested a log of trips from the Minister under the freedom of information and helped NGOs determine whether such trips comply with EU regulations.

However, he claims that the information received for multiple trips is incomplete and not all the logs requested have been provided.

Expert reports submitted in support of Ethical Farming’s allegations show that non-weaned calves can tolerate up to 8 hours without receiving milk, resulting in hunger, pain and distress. It will be.

Traveling in transport vehicles can be more dehydrated and consume more energy than when the calf is on the farm, the report adds.

Long journeys can lead to higher mortality and illness.

Judicial review

The court heard that the ministry responded that regulations on the transportation and movement of animals comply with EU regulations.

The group filed a proceeding as a result of allegations of failure to properly comply with EU Council rules on animal protection.

The judicial review measure, Ethical Farming, is seeking various remedies, including ordering the minister to comply with EU regulations on animal protection.

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Also, by allowing non-weaned calves to be transported by sea to the European continent, the Minister pursues policies and practices that may injure or cause injury or distress to animals in violation of EU regulations. I’m asking for a declaration that I’m doing it.

The issue arose before Judge Charles Meenan on an assessment basis while on Monday’s list of judicial reviews in the High Court.

The judge has instructed the State party to notify or in the presence of the State party to apply for permission to file an opposition.

The issue will return to court in October.

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