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Interactive map: Here's where all our live sheep and cattle exports go

Almost 203,000 cattle and sheep were exported so far this year.

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LIVE ANIMAL EXPORTING is a controversial issue and animal rights activists were up in arms when we started exporting cattle to Libya for the first time in ten years last year.

The government has maintained that there are strict rules enforced to give the animals the best possible journey as the Department of Agriculture supervises the final loading, check stocking density and ventilation before they’re sent off.

New figures have now been released which show that total live exports to date stand at almost 203,000 this year alone. Of this, 202,500 were cattle and the largest number – more than 50,000 cattle – were sent to the UK.

Small numbers were sent to countries like Rwanda, Lebanon and the Czech Republic and more than 14,000 were exported to Libya this year. As for our sheep, most ended up in France, Belgium, Italy and Germany.

Releasing the figures, Minister Simon Coveney these live exports “serve a dual purpose as a means of satisfying market demands for live animals and providing alternative market outlets for farmers”.

Read: Almost 3,000 live cattle to be exported to Libya tomorrow>

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