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Departmental Reports.

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 5 October 2006

Thursday, 5 October 2006

Questions (164)

Michael Lowry


162 Mr. Lowry asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food when she expects to receive the expert committee report on the use of standing pads for cattle; the length of time the committee has been deliberating over the issue; the costs incurred to date by the committee; if she has received a draft report to date; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [31439/06]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Agriculture and Food)

The Technical Working Group referred to was established in 2003 to evaluate the possible introduction into agricultural practice of a number of new structures, including Earth-Lined Stores and Out-Wintering Pads, and to make recommendations as to whether or not such structures should be permitted. Based on the Group's recommendations, I approved the specification for Earth-Lined Stores last March, and a course for site assessors is expected to commence in early November.

The work of the Technical Working Group on the suitability of Out-Wintering Pads was dependent on the results of ongoing research into the environmental implications and construction requirements associated with the system becoming available. I understand that the Technical Working Group has only recently received this information and that it will be examined at the earliest opportunity.

The Technical Working Group consists of officials nominated by my Department, the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Teagasc, EPA and GSI. Since its establishment in 2003, the costs incurred by the Technical Working Group amount to €3,140.83. These costs relate to the Group's work on all of the alternative storage systems under examination.