Tuesday, 2 March 2004

Questions (138)

Finian McGrath

Question:

217 Mr. F. McGrath asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food the EU regulations in place to protect live animals who are being transported; and if he will make a statement on the care and safety of live animals that are being exported. [6638/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Agriculture and Food)

Council Directive 91/628/EEC, as amended, lays down the rules governing the protection of animals during transport. The provisions of this directive have been transposed into Irish law by the Diseases of Animals (Protection of Animals During Transport) Order 1995, SI 98 of 1995; the Diseases of Animals (Protection of Animals During Transport) (Amendment) Order 1997, SI 326 of 1997; the Diseases of Animals (Protection of Animals During Transport) (Amendment) Order 2001, SI 215 of 2001; and the Diseases of Animals (Protection of Animals During Transport) (Amendment) Order 2003, SI 465 of 2003.

In addition, Ireland has introduced a series of statutory instruments going considerably beyond EU requirements concerning the carriage of cattle by sea. These require the approval by my Department of sea-going vessels intended for the carriage of cattle, having regard to the advice of veterinary and marine experts. They also include provisions relating to issues such as the physical conditions aboard the vessel, water and fodder supplies, ventilation and temperature control and vessel stability.

The European Commission has submitted a proposal for a new Council regulation on the protection of animals during transport to the Agriculture and Fisheries Council. The proposal is complex and of its nature, will require compromise by member states on a number of aspects if it is to be brought to finality during the Irish Presidency.