Thursday, 8 May 2003
Dáil Eireann Debate
104. Mr. Naughten asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food if he will rescind his decision to reduce veterinary inspections at meat plants given the economic impact it will have on the rural economy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12542/03]
Minister for Agriculture and Food (Mr. Walsh): The allocation of veterinary resources for meat inspection work this year has been set in accordance with the budgetary allocation for the year. I have allowed meat plants some flexibility in the use of these resources to enable them to meet their commercial commitments. In doing so I have made it clear that the overall budget allocation for the year must be respected and meat plants will have to plan their operations accordingly.
My Department is reviewing the operation of the meat inspection service with the aim of improving its efficiency and cost-effectiveness and to respond to the current commercial requirements of the meat industry.
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