Written Answers. - Animal Feedstuffs.

John Perry

Question:

93 Mr. Perry asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Rural Development the regulations regarding the manufacture, storage and use of meat and bonemeal; the number of licences issued in this regard; the arrangements made by his Department for the implementation of these regulations; the number of prosecutions taken and pending; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5027/00]

The manufacture and purchase of mammalian meat and bonemeal and its use in the manufacture of animal feedingstuffs is governed by the provisions of the Diseases of Animals (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy) Order 1990, which prohibits the feeding of mammalian meat and bone meal to ruminant animals, that is, cattle, sheep, goats and deer, and the provisions of the Diseases of Animals (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy) Order 1996, which sets out the licensing system applicable to the manufacture, purchase and use of mammalian meat and bonemeal.

All licensing is on an annual basis. In 1999, 73 licences were issued, of which 35 are still valid. To date this year, 12 licences have been issued. At present, a number of licences are in the process of being renewed. The process of renewing or issuing new licenses is ongoing throughout the year.

Mammalian meat and bonemeal produced in Ireland must come from plants approved under EC Council Directive 90/667 as transposed into Irish law.

The production, movement and storage of mammalian meat and bonemeal is carried out under the supervision of my Department. Rendering plants involved in the production of mammalian meat and bonemeal must be licensed under the provisions of the 1996 Order, to manufacture this product.

Mammalian meat and bonemeal may be incorporated into feedstuffs for feeding to non-ruminant species, that is, pigs, poultry and domestic carnivores, that is, dogs and cats. However, this must be done in accordance with the provisions of the 1996 Order which stipulates that anyone wishing to purchase mammalian meat and bonemeal and/or use it in the manufacture of animal feedstuffs must be licensed by my Department. Any person or company who wishes to use mammalian meat and bonemeal in the production of feedingstuffs intended for non-ruminant animals, in addition to a licence to purchase mammalian meat and bone meal must hold a further separate licence to have mammalian meat and bone meal on the named premises and to incorporate it into feedingstuffs intended for feeding to non-ruminant animals

Premises for which a licence is sought, other than those of purchasers who are based in other countries, are assessed individually by Department inspectors for suitability under the pro visions of the above order. Licence holders, other than foreign purchasers, are subject to regular inspection of their premises and the audit of the use and destination of mammalian meat and bonemeal purchased. Licences are refused or withdrawn where my Department is not satisfied that the conditions are being observed.
Breaches of this order constitute an offence under the Diseases of Animals Act, 1966. To date prosecutions under the provisions of the Diseases of Animals (BSE) (No.2) Order, 1996 have been taken against two companies and one individual. Convictions were secured in each case. There are no prosecutions pending at present.