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Live farm animal exports to mainland EU at a standstill post-Brexit

Lucrative live shellfish trade also hit hard, with consultation over further restrictions on live animal exports ending soon

Livestock and live shellfish exports from the UK to mainland Europe are at a standstill as producers struggle with post-Brexit transport conditions.

In 2019, excluding lamb and cattle traded between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, a combined 31,000 cattle, sheep and goats were exported from the UK to the EU mainland. About 5% would have been exported for fattening for slaughter and the rest for breeding, the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) estimates.

National Pig Association (NPA) data shows about 12,000 breeding pigs were shipped from the UK to the EU in 2020. The UK does not export pigs for slaughter, the NPA said, although 1,000 to 2,000 pigs are sent from Great Britain to Northern Ireland each year when extra slaughter capacity is needed.

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