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ISPCA calls on the Minister to reconsider any potential plans for the live export of pigs to China

20th September 2021

The ISPCA is calling on Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue to reconsider any potential plans for the export of live Irish pigs to China. It comes after an announcement over the weekend that Minister McConalogue and Minister NI of the General Administration of Customs of China (GACC) signed a protocol on live pigs, which sets out the quarantine and hygiene requirements for the export of high-quality breeding pigs to China.

In addition to concerns regarding the transportation of the pigs, the ISPCA has grave concerns for the welfare of any Irish pigs in China, a country where equivalent animal welfare standards to Ireland do not exist.

The ISPCA is completely opposed to live transport, particularly to countries outside the EU where welfare standards do not conform to those of the EU. It previously raised its concerns about the transport of live cattle to Turkey after extremely graphic videos filmed by Australian animal rights group Animals International in slaughterhouses in Turkey and Egypt (and seen by the ISPCA) showed horrific treatment of cattle before and during slaughter. These practices would have been illegal in Ireland and the rest of the EU.

The ISPCA also called on a previous Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine to urgently review live exports and to put a stop to the export of cattle and sheep to countries outside the EU following the death of 120 lambs on the way to Singapore for ritual slaughter. Initial findings indicated heat stress was the cause of the deaths.

The ISPCA feels that, apart from the obvious animal welfare and ethical considerations, such exports damage Ireland's international reputation. The development comes three months after the UK announced plans to become the first European country to end live exports.


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