The Explainer x Noteworthy: Why are Irish unweaned calves being exported?

Noteworthy’s Niall Sargent and vet Dr Alexander Rabitsch tell Susan Daly about animal welfare concerns in the growing trade to Europe.

By Laura Byrne Assistant News Editor

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“IT MUST BE a nightmare for them.” 

That is how one animal welfare group described the experience of unweaned calves – still dependent on milk – for sale at Irish marts, the first leg of a long journey across land and sea in the growing Irish live export trade in farm animals.

Over the past few months at our investigative platform Noteworthy, we examined concerns raised by animal welfare groups who have long criticised the trade as incapable of ensuring the welfare of exported calves even with the greatest of rules on paper.

In TRADE OFFNoteworthy reporter Niall Sargent also examined the growth of the export trade in line with dairy export and spoke to industry insiders about what solutions, if any, can be offered to limit welfare concerns raised.  

This week, as a bonus episode of The Explainer brought to you by Noteworthy, Susan Daly chats with Sargent and Dr Alexander Rabitsch – an Austrian vet, lecturer in animal welfare and former welfare inspector – about the shipping of Irish calves to the EU.


This episode was put together by Susan Daly, Niall Sargent and producer Laura Byrne.

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