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Vile scenes of abuse and blatant disregard for animal welfare laws shown on Prime Time Investigates require consequences - Claire Kerrane TD

10 July, 2023 - by Claire Kerrane TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson for Agriculture, Claire Kerrane TD, has said there must be consequences for those engaged in the vile scenes of abuse of calves contrary to the law and basic common decency, as shown by Prime Time Investigates tonight. 

The programme aired tonight showed bull calves being kicked, beaten with sticks, thrown on and off trailers and dragged by ears, tails and legs - vile scenes of abuse in marts as well as the treatment of calves being transported for live export.

Teachta Kerrane said:

“Tonight's programme was hard to watch. It highlighted cruel practices by some in some marts which do not reflect how the vast majority of handlers, mart staff and indeed, Farmers treat animals. In fact, the abuse displayed tonight flies in the face of basic common decency.

"Animal welfare standards exist for a reason but they are useless if not monitored and enforced and where these standards are not met, there needs to be consequences. 

"A number of laws were blatantly disregarded in what was aired tonight - animal welfare and the treatment of young calves as well as the failure to adhere to laws in place for live exports as regards rest times and feeding. This is unacceptable.

“I have no doubt that the high Irish livestock welfare standards we are known for are in place in the vast majority of marts across the island. However, tonight's documentary highlighted some cases where these rules are not being implemented. 

“We now need to see a thorough investigation into what has been shown tonight. We need to see a review of the practices and laws around live exports and if we want to continue with such exports, that has to be on the basis of strict adherence to the laws in place, these laws need to be enforced and where there are breaches, there needs to be consequences.

"I also noted one mart in response to the cruelty displayed on footage aired tonight suggested animal welfare training for staff, anyone working in a mart who engages in throwing calves or physically abusing them shouldn't work in such an environment, far from training, these individuals need to be identified and sacked."

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