Live Export

Since live exports began again in 2013, hundreds of thousands of animals have been exported from Ireland to countries as far afield as Libya, Lebanon and Turkey. There are many ways you get can involved and help to call an end to this inhumane trade.

Live exports statistics


  • Over 200,000 calves were exported to Europe in 2019.
  • Calves are left without food or accessible water for in excess of 24 hours and can lose a great deal of body weight during the journey. The ferry journey alone is around 19 hours and they cannot be fed without being unloaded.
  • They cannot regulate their own body temperature efficiently and have underdeveloped immune systems leaving them susceptible to illnesses like pneumonia.
  • The veal farms they are sent to can keep them in inhumane conditions with barren stalls too narrow for them to turn around in and bare, slatted flooring.
  • The majority of calves are sent to Spain where they can end up exported on to Libya, Lebanon and Turkey. It has been well documented that slaughter methods used in these countries are inhumane.


  • Over 30,000 sheep are exported to Europe each year.
  • They are mainly exported for religious slaughter in the run up to the festival of EID.
  • They are exported during July and August when temperatures can exceed 30 degrees causing them to suffer from thirst and heat stress.
  • Many are slaughtered in unofficial ‘pop up’ slaughterhouse where there is no pre-stunning.


  • Nearly 24,000 cattle were exported to North Africa and the Middle East in 2019.
  • Countries include Turkey, Libya, Lebanon, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco.
  • Sea journeys are very stressful for land animals who can suffer from motion sickness in the same way humans can.
  • Many animals die during the 10 to 14 day journey – an average of four per shipment. Causes range from broken limbs to respiratory illness.
  • The animals end up knee deep in manure which can lead to slippage and injury.
  • The animal welfare legislation in these countries is minimal and not enforced.
  • Investigations have shown inhumane methods of slaughter are used including slashing tendons, stabbing in the eyes, being strung up by a rear leg, multiple slashes at the throat.

All transport is likely to be stressful to animals and risks injury, suffering and the spread of disease – particularly when the animals are so young and the risk of catching illnesses is far higher. The EU’s Committee on Animal Health and Animal Welfare has stated “after a few hours of transport welfare tends to become poorer as journey length increases.”

Get involved

Email your TDs and MEPs and ask them to help put an end to long distance transport. Contact details can be found here:


You can also email the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine: and Janusz Wojciechowski European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development

If you would like more information or would like to become involved in the group please email or visit the Facebook page


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3 Responses

  1. Caroline Baird

    This is the reason I became Vegan.
    It’s heart breaking

  2. Teresa Veale

    Poor babies, I have a farming background but not farming now. I know everything invol ed in everything so please stop this export of live animals…..thank you Teresa

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