Wednesday, 29 April 2009
Dáil Eireann Debate
222. Deputy Seán Sherlock asked the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food the estimated cost of rendering if the sterilisation requirement is removed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17104/09]
224. Deputy Seán Sherlock asked the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food the cost of rendering per tonne of meat and bone meal from fallen animals; the subsidy paid by his Department on same up to the ending of the subsidy on animal under 48 months old; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17106/09]
My Department’s contribution to the Fallen Animals Scheme ceased with effect from Tuesday 14th April 2009. This was as a result of budgetary constraints and also reflects the greatly reduced incidence of BSE in this country.
The State will continue to provide financial support for the collection of certain dead animals, notably bovines over 48 months of age, for sampling, as required under the ongoing national BSE surveillance programme. The disposal of dead farm animals is subject to EU Regulations, notably Regulation (EC) No. 1774 of 2002. The basic legal requirement is that animals, which die on farms, must generally be disposed of through approved rendering plants.
There are 8 approved rendering plants in this country. Four of these plants are Category 1 rendering plants, which can process animals that die on-farm. The rendering subsidy previously payable by my Department under the Fallen Animal Scheme was €180 per tonne for ruminant material and €116.52 for non-ruminant material. With the ending of the Scheme the cost of rendering is now a matter for commercial agreement between the individual rendering plants and their customers. Equally the cost of exporting meat and bone meal (MBM) is dependent on commercial arrangements.
It has been a national requirement that all MBM produced in this country is manufactured using Method 1 as set out in Annex V to Regulation (EC) No 1774/2002. This method involves the sterilisation of the resulting MBM. Other methods are permitted under the Regulation. I am open to submissions by the rendering industry if they wish to use these alternative processing methods. I am not in a position to estimate the savings that might result from using alternative methods, which would again be dependent on commercial arrangements by the plants concerned relating to disposal outlets.
We are now in a period of adjustment with pricing for animals not covered by the new scheme left to the market and yet to settle. My Department will play its role within the boundaries of legal requirements in enabling reduction of costs in such areas as direct delivery by farmers to authorised plants, considering removal of some costs currently built into the rendering process (such as sterilisation), encouraging indigenous use of MBM for energy, and facilitating cross-border trade.
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