Walsh, Joe

Thursday, 22 May 2003

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 567 No. 3

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Ceisteanna - Questions. Priority Questions. - Common Agricultural Policy.

Was asked: his position regarding the Fischler proposals; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I indicated my overall opposition to the Commission's proposals for the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy at the meeting of the Council of Ministers on 27-28 January 2003. The proposals would c...More Button

In relation to the negotiations and the pace of them, as I mentioned, the detailed proposals were put before the Council of Ministers in January of this year. Last year, of course, there was an intima...More Button

Both studies, including the FAPRI one, indicated that there would be a substantial drop in our suckler herd and in the ewe flock. That would lead to a drop in the volume of sheepmeat and beef going th...More Button

Ceisteanna - Questions. Priority Questions. - Industrial Disputes.

Was asked: if he will implement measures to assist farmers who are being badly affected financially by the dispute at agricultural offices throughout the country at present; the reason he has not intervened in t...More Button

I regret that the industrial action taken by members of the CPSU is continuing and inconveniencing farmers in the five counties involved. However, I understand that the union has agreed to ease restri...More Button

To reiterate, I regret the inconvenience and difficulties being experienced by both the producers and the people on strike. This industrial action is contrary to partnership. There are mechanisms with...More Button

I understand that Priority Questions must be taken separately.More Button

I can confirm that the steering committee has become involved in this dispute to seek a resolution. The Department and I want to have this dispute resolved amicably because it is causing inconvenience...More Button

Ceisteanna - Questions. Priority Questions. - Agriculture Industry.

Was asked: the actions he intends taking in view of the crisis in the agriculture industry, the poor prices obtaining in the factories for cattle and the ongoing strikes in various parts of the country; and if h...More Button

Last year was a difficult one for farming and it followed a number of relatively favourable years. Teagasc estimated that farm family income increased by 43% between 1999 and 2001. The vision and long...More Button

Last year was difficult for a number of reasons. As the Deputy said, the weather was extremely poor and caused great difficulty for farmers. The market returns, especially for dairying, came under pre...More Button

Ceisteanna - Questions. Priority Questions. - Industrial Disputes.

Was asked: the situation with regard to the industrial dispute at his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I regret the inconvenience caused to the farming community due to the industrial action taken by the CPSU members and I am anxious to resolve the dispute. Department officials had contact with CPSU re...More Button

Generally speaking, over the past decade or so there have been very good industrial relations between the Department of Agriculture and Food and the staff. The Department has more than 4,000 staff in ...More Button

I am not happy in that area and I am concerned. First, I took advice from the Food Safety Authority about food and some decisions were taken which are very helpful. I am concerned at the implications ...More Button

Ceisteanna - Questions. Priority Questions. - Social Partnership Agreements.

Was asked: the terms and provisions of the package agreed with farm organisations as part of the social partnership agreement; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The agriculture element of the social partnership agreement entitled Sustaining Progress is valued in excess of €300 million, and could be greater depending on the take-up on the agri-environment sche...More Button

After a sustained period of deliberations and negotiations the farming pillar agreed to join the partnership. I am sure they are happy about that, as I am. It is a good way to do business and each of ...More Button

I thank Deputy Upton for referring to that matter. We all enjoy and support the richness and diversity of the Irish rural landscape, and long may that continue. At the same time, we want traditional c...More Button

Other Questions. - Veterinary Inspections Service.

Was asked: if he has met with the veterinary service to discuss the cutbacks in inspections at the meat factories; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Department of Agriculture and Food met Veterinary Ireland, the body that represents temporary veterinary inspectors in the meat inspection service, on 20 December 2002 to discuss TVI shifts in the...More Button

My colleague, the Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Deputy Treacy, will be answering that question on beef imports to Ireland comprehensively. I believe that it is question No. 9. I ...More Button

There has been no impact on output hitherto, but we must find a resolution. As I said, we have an expensive system and need to have it streamlined. I am talking to the various representative bodies an...More Button

Other Questions. - Food Industry.

Was asked: his views on reports (details supplied) that 90% of all new food and drink products fail to survive more than a year in the market; the steps he is taking to ensure that this figure is lessened consid...More Button

Other Questions. - Animal Medicines.

Was asked: his plans to restrict the supply of farm medicines; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Other Questions. - Food Safety Standards.

Was asked: the mechanisms he is putting in place to improve the traceability of meat consumed here; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Other Questions. - Beef Imports.

Was asked: the amount of EU beef imported in 2002 and, to date, in 2003; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Other Questions. - Rural Environment Protection Scheme.

Was asked: if there is a delay in issuing REP scheme payments; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Generally speaking, there is no undue delay in the processing of REPS applications or the issuing of annual REPS payments. Industrial action by clerical staff is affecting the processing of REPS appli...More Button

The payment should issue within 14 weeks. REPS is an outstanding scheme and farmers have no excuse not to participate in it. Farmers obligations in terms of the countryside, which we have already disc...More Button

I do not accept that the system is overly complex. It is a good scheme with good amounts of money. Farmers are asked to do what good farmers do anyway in farming. However, I am currently carrying out ...More Button

Other Questions. - EU Directives.

Was asked: the measures he will implement to ensure that water pollution is reduced as a result of decisions taken in relation to the nitrates directive; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The implementation of the nitrates directive is a matter for the Minister for the Environment and Local Government. Far be it from me to stray into another Minister's area of responsibility.More Button

I will be happy to pass on the Deputy's good advice and admonishments to my colleague, the Minister for the Environment and Local Government. Written Answers follow Adjournment Debate.More Button

Written Answers. - Nitrates Directive.

Was asked: the measures he will implement to ensure that water pollution is reduced as a result of decisions taken in relation to the nitrates directive; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The implementation of the Nitrates Directive is a matter for the Minister for the Environment and Local Government.More Button

Written Answers. - Rural Environment Protection Scheme.

Was asked: the reason, on entry into the milk partnership scheme, one of the participants has to give up his herd number in view of the fact that this prohibits him from getting a REP scheme payment; if, in such...More Button

For the purposes of the rural environmental protection scheme, a “farmer” is defined as “an individual agricultural producer, whether a natural or legal person or a group of natural or legal persons, ...More Button

Written Answers. - Animal Disease Controls.

Was asked: his plans to provide a genotyping facility for sheep, to ensure that scrapie-resistant animals are available for restocking, where depopulation has taken place; and if he will make a statement on the ...More Button

In line with current EU developments I am developing a national genotype programme, NGP. The programme, which will be available this autumn, will provide a blood testing service to flock owners throug...More Button

Written Answers. - Agricultural Export Subsidies.

Was asked: if the Government will support recent French proposals and favour a moratorium on agricultural export subsidies to sub-Saharan African countries pending the completion of the Doha trade negotiation ro...More Button

I am sympathetic to the spirit and objective of the French proposals. The proposals themselves acknowledge that developing countries are net importers of agricultural products from temperate regions a...More Button

Written Answers. - Bovine Diseases.

Was asked: the current decision with respect to cattle that develop Johne's disease; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the measures he is taking to combat the increase in Johne's disease in cattle at present; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 16 and 69 together. The numbers of reported cases of Johne's disease have increased significantly in recent years. Until recently, measures taken by my Department have...More Button

Written Answers. - Food Industry.

Was asked: his Department's views on the continuing lack of full labelling on the origin of all food in catering outlets; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As a result of concerns expressed by consumers on this and other issues, I established a food labelling group to examine issues surrounding food labelling in general. This group reported to me last De...More Button

Written Answers. - Use of Pesticides.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that 50 towns across Canada have banned or restricted the cosmetic use of pesticides; and his plans to introduce measures here.More Button

Many towns and cities in Canada have restricted the use of lawn, turf and garden pesticides intended for aesthetic or cosmetic purposes and exceptions were made for golf courses and sports fields. Thr...More Button

Written Answers. - Animal Disease Controls.

Was asked: the restrictions there are regarding the movement of sheep or the presence of sheep at various agricultural shows in the coming months; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

It was recently decided to amend the policy on the movement of sheep to agricultural shows following consultation with the industry. The following rules will apply for shows held in 2003 which include...More Button

Written Answers. - Agriculture Industry Development.

Was asked: his plans for the ongoing development of the agricultural industry, sector by sector; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

In 1999, I set up the Agri-Food 2010 Committee to propose a strategy for the development of agriculture and food over the next decade. The committee, which was drawn from the agricultural sector and t...More Button

Written Answers. - Bovine Diseases.

Was asked: the provisions of the new master plan for combating a future outbreak of foot and mouth disease; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I recently published a detailed contingency plan and operations manual for the handling of any future foot and mouth disease outbreak.More Button

Written Answers. - Women on Farms.

Was asked: his proposals to ensure that women who live and work on farms are given due recognition for their input; his proposals to ensure that they are provided with opportunities to influence policy; his plan...More Button

An advisory committee on the role of women in agriculture, which I established, reported in September 2000 and much progress has been made in the implementation of its recommendations. The recommendat...More Button

Written Answers. - FAPRI Report.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the recently published FAPRI report; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Following publication of the Commission's full mid-term review, MTR, proposals in January, I requested FAPRI Ireland to study the effects of the European Commission's proposals taking into account the...More Button

Written Answers. - Animal Diseases.

Was asked: the number of cases of enzootic abortion since 1 January 2003; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Enzootic abortion of ewes is a notifiable disease under the provisions of the Diseases of Animals (Notification of Infectious Diseases) Order, 1992.More Button

Written Answers. - Beef Marketing.

Was asked: the number of times the beef summit has met since its establishment; the measures or recommendations it has taken; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I hosted a meeting of the main farming organisations and the chief executives of the main beef export companies last December. The purpose of the meeting was to review the state of the beef industry a...More Button

Written Answers. - Industrial Disputes.

Was asked: the situation with respect to the industrial dispute at his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

My Department regrets the hardship caused to the farming community due to the industrial action taken by CPSU members and we are endeavouring to resolve the dispute. Department officials met CPSU repr...More Button

Written Answers. - Bovine Diseases.

Was asked: the amount of compensation paid under the brucellosis and TB eradication schemes by year since its establishment; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The amounts of compensation actually paid out under the brucellosis and TB eradication schemes by year since 1954 are detailed in the following table.More Button

Written Answers. - Animal Certification.

Was asked: if the dairy herd certification scheme is in operation; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

One round of the dairy herd certification scheme has already operated and my Department is in ongoing contact with the farming and veterinary organisations with a view to having the next phase in oper...More Button

Written Answers. - Pension Provisions.

Was asked: the reason his Department is refusing to accept the decision of the Department of Social and Family Affairs in relation to the pre 1953 contributions payable in respect of a person (details supplied) ...More Button

The Scope section in the Department of Social and Family Affairs has deemed the person named to be an employee for insurability purposes. My Department has appealed this decision to the appeals office...More Button

Written Answers. - Industrial Disputes.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the serious ongoing hardship being caused as a result of the dispute involving staff at Davitt House in Castlebar, and elsewhere; if he will take steps to resolve th...More Button

My Department has endeavoured to limit the impact of this dispute on farmers in the five counties involved. The necessity to get advance clearance from the CMMS data for animals intended for slaughter...More Button

Written Answers. - Disadvantaged Areas Scheme.

Was asked: if he has received a request from a group of farmers in County Monaghan to have their land re-classified as severely disadvantaged; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I have received representations on behalf of a number of farmers in County Monaghan who wish to have their lands, currently classified as less severely handicapped, reclassified as more severely handi...More Button

Written Answers. - Special Beef Premium.

Was asked: the response he has received from the EU Commission with respect to the beef overshoot; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

My Department has made a very strong case to the European Commission outlining specific proposals to deal with the overshoot on the Special Beef Premium in respect of 2002. The main justification put ...More Button

Written Answers. - Common Agricultural Policy.

Was asked: his views on the impact of subsidies on agricultural products for developing countries; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am aware of certain concerns regarding the impact of the common agricultural policy on developing countries and I am sympathetic to the needs of these developing countries. However, it should first ...More Button

Written Answers. - Bovine Diseases.

Was asked: his views as to the reason so many cases of BSE continue to be discovered in animals born after the ban on meat and bone meal was imposed; the extent of his Department's analysis of this development; ...More Button

The feeding of meat and bone meal to ruminants was banned in 1990. I assume that the Deputys question refers to cases of BSE in animals born after the introduction of enhanced control measures in rela...More Button

Written Answers. - Meat and Bonemeal Disposal.

Was asked: his proposals to dispose of meat and bone meal; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if he is satisfied with the measures in place to deal with the animal waste mountain here and the profits being accrued from this by some businesses; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 35 and 52 together. In January 2001, to address the situation faced by the cattle sector, and against the background of particular difficulties being faced by the beef...More Button

Written Answers. - Departmental Contracts.

Was asked: the catering contracts his Department has; if the food is of Irish origin; the value of these contracts; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The restaurant in Agriculture House is run as a dining club. The canteens in the Departments regional offices in Wexford, Portlaoise and Castlebar are the subject of franchise agreements. The catering...More Button

Written Answers. - Common Agricultural Policy.

Was asked: the discussions he has had since 1 April 2003, with Commissioner Fischler with respect to his mid-term reform proposals; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Commissions proposals for reform of the Common Agricultural Policy were discussed at the Agriculture and Fisheries Council in Luxembourg on 8 April, which Commissioner Fischler attended. I also di...More Button

Written Answers. - Rural Environment Protection Scheme.

Was asked: the rates of payment and the total annual expenditure for 2003 and for each of the years covered by the partnership agreement recently concluded with the farming organisations regarding the REP scheme...More Button

Under the terms of the partnership agreement, Sustaining Progress, the Government undertook in relation to REPS, to seek approval in negotiation with the EU Commission, to increase the rates of paymen...More Button

Written Answers. - WTO Negotiations.

Was asked: his views on the pace of progress in the WTO talks on agriculture at present; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The ministerial declaration agreed at Doha in November 2001, which launched the current round of WTO negotiations, set 31 March 2003 as the date by which an agreement on modalities would be concluded....More Button

Written Answers. - Animal Disease Controls.

Was asked: the amount which has been spent on anti-scrapie measures in each of the past three years; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I assume the Deputy is referring primarily to expenditure since December 2001, when the scrapie depopulation policy was introduced. This policy was introduced against the background of increasing conc...More Button

Written Answers. - Industrial Disputes.

Was asked: the action he proposes to take to resolve the ongoing dispute at agricultural offices; if his attention has been drawn to the great hardship it is causing farmers; his views on the possible hazards as...More Button

My Department has endeavoured to limit the impact of this dispute on farmers in the five counties involved. The necessity to get advance clearance from the CMMS data for animals intended for slaughter...More Button

Written Answers. - Animal Disease Controls.

Was asked: the number of cattle between 30 months and 36 months old which have been slaughtered in 2003 to date; the number of these cattle which have tested positive for BSE; and if he will make a statement on ...More Button

Was asked: the number of cattle between 30 months and 36 months old which were slaughtered in 2001 and 2002; the number of these which tested positive for BSE; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the number of cattle between 27 months and 30 months old which have been slaughtered in 2003 to date; the number of these which have tested positive for BSE; and if he will make a statement on the mat...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 55, 42 and 72 together. According to CMMS, the following table outlines the number of cattle aged between: (a)30 and 36 months old slaughtered in export approved meat ...More Button

Written Answers. - Grant Payments.

Was asked: the reason the Government has put in jeopardy over half a billion Euro a year in European agricultural grant aid by its continued failure to implement stricter controls on agricultural pollution; and ...More Button

The CAP rural development plan 2000-2006 which covers compensatory allowances, REPS, early retirement and forestry measures includes an undertaking to implement the nitrates directive. The implementat...More Button

Written Answers. - Farm Household Income.

Was asked: the measures he is taking to ensure that part-time farmers are enabled to earn a viable income; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Agri-Food 2010 Plan of Action contained the Governments response to issues dealt within the main report of the independent 2010 committee. The need to develop viable full-time and part-time farmer...More Button

Written Answers. - Beef Quality Assurance Scheme.

Was asked: if the national beef assurance scheme is in operation; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The position in relation to the National Beef Assurance Scheme is that the traceability elements have been fully operational since 1 January 2000. It was envisaged that other elements of the scheme, i...More Button

Written Answers. - Public Access to Farm Lands.

Was asked: if he encourages the maintenance and establishment of public access with farmer agreement on hill walks and otherwise over farm lands; and his proposals in this regard.More Button

Supplementary measure 5 of the previous rural environmental protection scheme provided for payments to farmers who undertook to give public access to their land for environmentally friendly leisure an...More Button

Written Answers. - Meat and Bonemeal Disposal.

Was asked: his views on the considerations of the interdepartmental committee for dealing with the MBM problem.More Button

The work of the inter departmental committee on the disposal of meat and bone meal is nearing completion. The recommendations of that committee, which is chaired by my Department, and includes represe...More Button

Written Answers. - Agriculture Development.

Was asked: his views on the recent study by the Agricultural Consultants Association on the future of Irish agriculture; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The recent Agricultural Consultants Association study set out, in a series of opinion polls, results showing that a number of farmers had difficulties with regard to farm succession and in their abili...More Button

Written Answers. - Common Agricultural Policy.

Was asked: his assessment of the way in which the proposed changes to the Common Agricultural Policy will impact on farm incomes; his views on the recent Teagasc-FAPRI Ireland report on this matter; and if he wi...More Button

I requested FAPRI Ireland to look at the effects of the full mid-term review – MTR – proposals, including not just decoupling, but also degression, modulation and further reforms of the dairy and cere...More Button

Written Answers. - Organic Farming.

Was asked: his views on the recommendations of the Organic Development Committee.More Button

The Government recognises the potential of the organic sector, and the programme for Government includes a commitment to its further development through increased production and the development of a s...More Button

Written Answers. - Bovine Diseases.

Was asked: the number of BSE cases to date in 2003; the number of those discovered in animals subsequent to the ban on the use of meat and bone meal; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

A total of 96 cases of BSE have been confirmed to date in 2003, including one case from a depopulated herd. The feeding of meat and bone meal to ruminants was banned in 1990, while enhanced controls i...More Button

Written Answers. - Common Agricultural Policy.

Was asked: his views on the analysis of CAP reform by Teagasc.More Button

The independent report published by FAPRI Ireland of the effects of the European Commission's proposals for the mid-term review of the CAP and for the current round of WTO trade negotiations is an imp...More Button

Written Answers. - Lamb Exports.

Was asked: the steps he is taking to deal with the scarcity of lamb for the export markets at present; his views on whether consumers may pay higher prices in the shops as a result; and if he will make a stateme...More Button

The export market for Irish lamb is performing very strongly at present due to strong demand in France, a market which takes 80% of our lamb exports. Equally, the domestic market is performing well wh...More Button

Written Answers. - Food Labelling.

Was asked: the action which has been taken following the FVO report on labelling of beef and beef mince; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

EU beef labelling regulations introduced in 2000 require operators involved in the marketing of beef to label their product with a reference code to enable the beef to be traced back to: the animal or...More Button

Written Answers. - Illegal Imports.

Was asked: the number of personnel engaged to prevent the personal import of meat and dairy products at ports and airports; the number of personal imports that have been detected in 2002 and 2003; the action whi...More Button

There are currently a total of 68 Department personnel involved in this work. Most of these officers are engaged part-time in this area and also have other Departmental functions. A total of 6,662 sei...More Button

Written Answers. - Farm Retirement Scheme.

Was asked: his plans to index link the farm retirement pension; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The rate of pension payable under the 1994 early retirement scheme is the maximum provided for by the EU Council regulation under which the scheme was introduced. The regulation does not provide for i...More Button

Written Answers. - Milk Quota.

Was asked: the way in which the milk quota proposals as outlined by Commissioner Fischler will impact on a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The mid-term review proposals are still under discussion and it is not possible to say what the final outcome will be at this stage. According to the Commission proposals a person who had his quota le...More Button

Written Answers. - Common Agricultural Policy.

Was asked: his views on the recent Teagasc report that dairy and beef farmers would do better arising from the CAP reform proposals; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The FAPRI Ireland study on the effects of the Commission's full mid-term review, MTR, proposals and World Trade Organisation, WTO, trade negotiations farm level analysis shows that the majority of Ire...More Button

Written Answers. - EU Directives.

Was asked: his plans to implement the nitrates directive.More Button

The implementation of the nitrates directive is a matter for the Minister for the Environment and Local Government.More Button

Written Answers. - Animal Identification Scheme.

Was asked: when the contract for the supply of bovine identification tags will be awarded; if he will consider awarding the contract to more than one agent; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

An invitation to tender was issued at the beginning of last month for a service provider or providers for the supply of bovine animal identification tags and birth registration documents. The closing ...More Button

Written Answers. - Poultry Diseases.

Was asked: the action he has taken to protect the poultry industry from an outbreak of avian flu; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Avian influenza, AI, is a contagious viral infection which can effect all species of birds. In intensive poultry rearing systems young fattening turkeys and laying hens are usually the most affected s...More Button

Written Answers. - Disease Levies.

Was asked: his plans to change the disease levies; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

In the context of the agreement with the farming organizations, it was agreed that value for money reviews of expenditure will be carried out during 2003 with a view to identifying savings while prote...More Button

Written Answers. - Meat Markets.

Was asked: if he has satisfied himself that the beef, lamb and pigmeat sectors are competing on a level playing pitch on home and overseas markets; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Irish beef, sheepmeat and pigmeat sectors operate in the same regulatory environment and are subject to the same types of market forces as is the industry throughout the EU. Clearly factors such a...More Button

Written Answers. - Veterinary Inspectors.

Was asked: if the reduction in funding available for temporary veterinary inspectors at meat factories is having an impact on supply; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The reduction in shift allocations to temporary veterinary inspectors, TVIs, involved in the operation of the meat inspection service has not affected slaughtering throughput or supply this year. In f...More Button

Written Answers. - Live Exports.

Was asked: the value of live cattle exports for the years 1994 to 2002; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

My Department does not compile statistical information on the value of live cattle exports. In the period 1994 to 2002 close on 2.27 million head of cattle were exported from Ireland. Based on informa...More Button

Written Answers. - Farm Retirement Scheme.

Was asked: his views on the statistic that 27% of Irish farms have no foreseeable successor.More Button

The recent Agricultural Consultants Association study set out in an opinion poll format certain statistics with regard to farm succession and what was perceived as the lack of a successor to take over...More Button

Written Answers. - Food Labelling.

Was asked: his plans to improve the labelling of foodstuffs; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I established the Food Labelling Group in July 2002 to examine issues surrounding food labelling in the context of consumer expectations about the food they buy and to come forward with recommendation...More Button

Written Answers. - Live Exports.

Was asked: the measures he has taken since 1 January 2003 to increase the live cattle trade; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Our live export performance to date this year is very strong, and at 67,000 is more than double last year's performance for this stage of the year. Increased price competitiveness of Irish calves is r...More Button

Written Answers. - Veterinary Inspections.

Was asked: his plans to change the vet inspection scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The overall cost of the Meat Inspection Service has increased very substantially over the past five years and much of this cost is borne by the Exchequer. The payments for services provided by tempora...More Button

Written Answers. - Farm Safety Action Plan.

Was asked: the number of farm accidents and deaths known to his Department since the beginning of 2003; the objectives of the new Farm Safety Action Plan; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Statistics in relation to on farm accidents are published on an annual basis by various bodies. To date in 2003 my Department is aware of seven on-farm accidents, which resulted in death. Information ...More Button

Written Answers. - Beef Classification System.

Was asked: if he is satisfied with the procedure for grading of beef; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The introduction of a beef carcase classification system in all member states in 1982 provided a standardised system of carcase classification. This ensured an equitable basis for payment to the produ...More Button

Written Answers. - Food Industry.

Was asked: the role his Department is playing in co-operation with other agencies to develop farmers' markets.More Button

As part of its statutory role in promoting the development of Ireland's food and drink industry, Bord Bia is actively working with small food producers to develop this pioneering route to market. Cons...More Button

Written Answers. - Animal Identification Scheme.

Was asked: his plans to introduce electronic tagging of animals; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

My Department is currently seeking contractors for the supply of cattle tags to farmers and has also asked the industry to quote a price for any electronic solution to cattle identification. Further c...More Button

Written Answers. - Animal Welfare.

Was asked: if he is satisfied that standards for animal welfare are being met on farm during transport and at slaughter; the level and frequency of inspection which is in place; and the reporting mechanism which...More Button

On-farm welfare of farm animals is governed by the European Communities (Protection of Animals Kept for Farming Purposes) Regulations 2000. Any complaint received by my Department about on-farm animal...More Button

Written Answers. - Disposal of Animal Carcases.

Was asked: his views on the recent EU approval of alkaline hydrolysis for the disposal of BSE-infected material.More Button

Alkaline hydrolysis has not been approved yet by the EU Commission as a safe method of disposal of BSE-positive material. However, its suitability for the disposal of various categories of animal by-p...More Button

Written Answers. - Official Engagements.

Was asked: if he will report on the recent visit of the Minister of State to Japan; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture and Food, Deputy Treacy, led a delegation of Irish food companies and research institutions involved in the development of the Irish functional f...More Button

Written Answers. - Grant Payments.

Was asked: when 20% of balance of beef premia will be awarded to a person (details supplied) in County Limerick.More Button

The person named submitted six applications under the special beef premium scheme 2002 listing 98 animals. Advance payments, at the rate of 80% of premium, issued during January and March 2003. It has...More Button

Was asked: the reason the 20% of the 2002 suckler cow grant and the ewe premium scheme has not been awarded to a person (details supplied) in County Galway.More Button

The person named applied for premium on 25 animals under the 2002 suckler cow premium scheme on 28 June 2002. An advance payment of €4,343.13 issued on 28 November 2002. A problem arose with tag numbe...More Button

Was asked: if a REP scheme payment will be approved for a person (details supplied), which his Department is holding up due to the claim that plots are unmarked on the plan even though the Carrick-on-Shannon off...More Button

The person named had omitted to include the LPIS numbers on the maps which he submitted with his application for payment on 10 February 2003. My Department wrote to him on 24 March 2003 asking him to ...More Button

Written Answers. - Departmental Staff.

Was asked: if he will intervene in the dispute between his Department and the CPSU which is causing considerable hardship to thousands of farm families in the affected counties; and if he will make a statement o...More Button

I regret the inconvenience caused to the farming community due to the industrial action taken by the CPSU members and I am anxious to resolve the dispute. Department officials had contact CPSU represe...More Button

Written Answers. - Milk Quota.

Was asked: the reason a person (details supplied) in County Cork is not able to sell the quota of 6,223 gallons which is tied to a landholding.More Button

The permanent transfer of land and milk quota is governed by Regulation 7 of the European Communities (Milk Quota) Regulations 2000. One of the requirements set down in that regulation is that the per...More Button

Was asked: if he will extend the six month period and permit an application for a regulation 7 certificate to be approved in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Cork.More Button

In view of the circumstances which apply in this case my Department is prepared to consider extending the six month limit for an application under regulation 7. There are, however, some matters in rel...More Button

Written Answers. - EU Imports.

Was asked: if meat or other food products on sale here and purporting to originate within the European Union have actually come from outside the Union; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if the sourcing of all food products, including meat and vegetables currently available on the Irish market and originating overseas, complies with the production, processing or preparation standards ...More Button

Was asked: if no meat or meat products are being sold on the Irish market other than with adequate traceability and adherence to European production and hygiene standards; and if he will make a statement on the ...More Button

Was asked: the countries which currently supply meat and meat products to Irish chain stores; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the extent to which he had monitored the sourcing of meat and meat products in the various chain stores; if he is satisfied that Irish suppliers have had an equal chance to supply in each case; and if...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 91 and 106 to 109, inclusive, together.More Button

Written Answers. - Poultry Exports.

Was asked: the number of countries to which poultry and poultry products are exported; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

According to the most recently available statistics received from the Central Statistics Office, CSO, for 2002, Ireland exports poultry and poultry products to some 37 countries. The more significant ...More Button

Written Answers. - Dairy Exports.

Was asked: the current price of Irish dairy products on European markets and other markets; the way in which this compares with products originating elsewhere; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The main dairy products produced in Ireland for export are butter, cheese, milk powders and casein. These products are exported world-wide, with the European Union countries accounting for the majorit...More Button

Written Answers. - Lamb Exports.

Was asked: the current price of Irish lamb on European markets; the way in which this compares with products originating in other countries, both EU and non EU; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

France is the principal market for Irish lamb exports. I am informed by An Bord Bia that Irish lamb exported to France is generally making €5 per kg. delivered, similar to the price of British lamb th...More Button

Written Answers. - Cereal Sector.

Was asked: the future prospects for cereal growers here; the way in which this compares with the situation in other EU countries and the USA; the way in which he expects the WTO to affect the situation; and if h...More Button

The outlook for the cereals sector in Ireland is reasonably positive, with an expected rise in prices due to reduced supplies in Europe and the general trend for a long-term rise in world prices. Aver...More Button

Written Answers. - Horse Breeding.

Was asked: the position and future prospects for the sporting horse industry; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The reputation of the Irish horse is well known all over the world and Irish breeders continually strive to improve the standard of horses bred in this country. Over the last eight years the success o...More Button

Written Answers. - Animal Foodstuffs.

Was asked: if bonemeal or such products are imported at present; the source and sources; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Importation of meat and bone meal or such products for any purpose to do with the farm animal and human food chain is prohibited. Under Community rules the importation of such products which have alre...More Button

Written Answers. - Animal Disease Controls.

Was asked: the way in which all the carcases arising from the beef destruction scheme and the foot and mouth prevention measures have been disposed of; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

In the case of foot and mouth disease, animals from the infected farm were buried on the farm in question with assistance and advice from the local authority. Other animals which were slaughtered on a...More Button

Written Answers. - Grant Payments.

Was asked: if all agricultural support grants are paid up to date at present; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Payments valued at over €1.58 billion have issued to farmers since 1 January 2002 under the suckler cow premium, special beef premium, slaughter premium, ewe premium, arable aid, extensification premi...More Button

Written Answers. - Semi-State Bodies.

Was asked: his future plans for Teagasc; if the body is likely to play an integral role in the farm advisory research and development areas in the future; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Teagasc is an independent statutory body operating under the aegis of my Department. Its remit is to provide research, training and advisory services for the agri-food industry. Teagasc is governed by...More Button

Written Answers. - Food Prices.

Was asked: the difference between the price received by the producer and paid by the consumer in respect of dairy, meat and other food products here; the relative comparisons for France, Germany, Holland and Ita...More Button

Ireland is a major producer and exporter of agricultural products both processed and in commodity form. As a nation Ireland is one of the most export orientated exporting up to 80% of our agricultural...More Button

Written Answers. - Food Exports.

Was asked: the new overseas markets identified for dairy, meat and meat products in the past year; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As regards the dairy sector, Irish dairy products are sold in over 100 countries world-wide with the EU accounting for the majority, 70% to 80%, of these sales. EU enlargement has paved the way for an...More Button

Was asked: the total export of dairy, meat and meat products in each of the past five years; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Exports of dairy, meat and meat products in each of the past five years were as follows:More Button

Written Answers. - Farm Retirement Scheme.

Was asked: the length of time to process an application for farm retirement pension; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The protocol on direct payments to farmers sets a target of 12 weeks for the processing of a valid application to the stage of scheduling for payment if the case is selected for pre-payment inspection...More Button

Was asked: the uptake on the farm retirement pension scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

A total of 1,890 applications have been received under the current early retirement scheme since it commenced in November 2000. Of these 1,643 have been approved for payment; 63 have been refused; 174...More Button

Written Answers. - Decentralisation Programme.

Was asked: the sections of his Department likely to be transferred to Maynooth or Backweston; when the transfer will take place; the number of personnel involved; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

To date 106 staff from my Department have relocated to Maynooth from the following areas: information systems; crop production and safety; horticulture and plant health; feedingstuffs, fertilisers, gr...More Button


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