Target: Simon Coveney, Irish Minister of Agriculture, Food and Marine
Goal: Stop Ireland from opening a cruel live export trade
Many cows are raised for slaughter in Ireland, but they are protected under animal rights laws that regulate their quality of life and ensure a quick, humane death. However, thousands of cows are in danger of being shipped off to a different kind of slaughter in Libya. The Irish government is considering reopening live export trade with Libya and shipping approximately 2,900 cows to northern Africa to face a brutal death.
Not only will the animals be brutally and inhumanely put to death, but they will have to endure a 10-day voyage by boat, in which living conditions are appalling. The animals will be crammed into a tiny space where they will live among their own waste for more than a week, often without sufficient food or water. Since cows are intelligent animals with the capacity to feel fear and anxiety, the journey takes a massive toll on their nervous system and overall wellbeing.
Once offloaded in Northern Africa, the cows will be put to death in a manner that would be illegal in the European Union. Investigations of some of the slaughterhouses in Northern Africa and the Middle East showed animals who were stabbed in the eyes and dragged to their deaths without any attempt to stun the frightened animal. Once Ireland sends a shipment of livestock, it will have no control over the animals’ welfare.
Tell the Irish Agricultural Minister to forego live export trading, as it could open the floodgates to more livestock being shipped in the same manner. Irish cattle farmers have been regarded for their humane treatment of livestock and sending the animals to be grotesquely killed would be a massive step backward for Irish farming.
Dear Mr. Coveney,
Live export is a cruel practice that causes animals prolonged suffering. The boat journey alone is a terrifying ordeal that causes undue stress and fear, not to mention the lack of control the government has over that animal’s welfare once it is delivered to its final destination. That is why I was disappointed to hear that Ireland is considering opening live cattle trade with Libya.
Not only will the cows be forced to endure a 10-day journey in which they will be crammed onto a ship and living in their own waste, but the standards of care for livestock in Northern Africa are a far cry from those which Irish farmers have worked so hard to uphold. Slaughter houses in that region are known to kill animals barbarically with blunt knives without any attempt to stun them.
Opening live export will set a precedent for future trades, and would be a step backward both for animal rights and Irish cattle farming. The reputation of the industry as well as your nation is at stake if you decide to go ahead with the trade. Please do not approve live export trade, and spare your nation’s livestock from an inhumane and disturbing fate.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Gavigan via Wikimedia Commons