Tripoli, 15 January:
Cows from Ireland are just weeks away from being transported to Libya, subject to the proposed shipping vessel getting approval from the Irish authorities.
Al Mahmoud, a Syrian livestock trading and shipping firm which is working with the Irish Waterford Livestock export company, has extensively refurbished one of its vessels in preparation to ship the first consignment of Irish cattle to Libya in 17 years.
The Al Mahmoud Express, which is understood to have been built in 1983, is due to receive approval in two weeks time that it now meets Irish standards. Once approved, the vessel will transport 2,900 beef cross bulls under 24 months of age that have been health-checked.
The Irish Independent reported the president of the Irish Framers Association, John Bryan, as saying that the Irish Department of Agriculture had made “substantial progress on re-opening the live trade to Libya, Egypt and the Lebanon, with veterinary certificates now in place for all three markets for the first time since 1995.”Libya imported Irish cattle for 36 years until 1996 when, following an outbreak of BSE, the country banned cattle imports from Europe.