Thursday, 28 May 1992
Dáil Éireann Debate
48. Mr. Kavanagh asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food if he will outline his plans to control diseases such as rabies, foot and mouth disease and others when the common frontiers policy of the EC comes into force; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Minister for Agriculture and Food (Mr. Walsh): The advent of the internal market will require a reorganisation of the veterinary controls operated by my Department and staff are currently engaged in preparing for the new system, the requirements of which are laid down in a wide-ranging body of EC legislation. These preparations include evaluation of manpower and other resource requirements, installation of computer equipment, reallocation of tasks currently performed at frontier posts and designing procedures for the conduct of veterinary checks in the internal market.
There will be freer movement of animals and products throughout the Community after 1 January 1993. Special emphasis has been placed on ensuring that this freedom will not be to the detriment  of animal health. Considerable success has been achieved in regard to control of the major diseases. For example, foot-and-mouth disease is no longer found in the Community. Movement of animals out of areas infected with serious diseases will be strictly prohibited and there will be an onus on the official authorities of exporting member states to ensure that animals leaving their territory are free of disease, do not come from infected areas and meet the extensive veterinary health requiements of the various EC directives.
Animals being imported into Ireland will be spot checked by veterinary officers of my Department at the place of destination. In addition safeguard measures permitting examination at any stage during transport may be put into operation if a serious disease threat is suspected.
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