Written Answers. - Importation of Bovine Semen.

Wednesday, 29 June 1994

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 444 No. 6

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  142.  Mrs. Doyle  Information on Avril Doyle  Zoom on Avril Doyle   asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forestry  Information on Joe Walsh  Zoom on Joe Walsh   his views on private sector involvement in AI and the provision and importation of straws from Scotland through Northern Ireland; whether there is any veterinary certification of these straws; whether there are risks to our animal health status; the legal requirements in this matter; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forestry (Mr. J. Walsh): Information on Joe Walsh  Zoom on Joe Walsh  It is assumed that the question refers to bovine semen.

Importation into the State of bovine semen generally, including, of course, from Scotland through Northern Ireland, is governed by S.I. No. 259 of 1993 entitled “European Communities (Trade in Bovine Breeding Animals their Semen, Ova and Embryos) Regulations 1993”. These regulations transpose into [1320] national law the EU directives dealing with trade in bovine semen. Under these regulations any individual or company who wishes to import semen into the State may do so but in so doing must comply fully with the provisions of the regulations. The conditions applicable to importation of semen include a requirement that the Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry must be given two working days advance notice and all such imports must be consigned to an approved semen collection centre in the State. In addition, all semen being imported from another member state must be accompanied by the EU veterinary and zootechnical certification prescribed in the regulations. EU law does not allow member states to impose any further restrictions on the importation of semen. I am satisfied that any importation of bovine semen straws which complies with these regulations does not represent a threat to our animal health status. The private sector has been involved to a considerable extent in the AI business for many years. There is no reason why this should not be the case; in fact, the private sector has made a significant contribution in this area.

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