Thursday, 10 July 2008

Questions (510, 511, 512)

Michael Creed

Question:

500 Deputy Michael Creed asked the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food the progress made on the programme for Government proposal to continue to expand and develop herd health policies here to ensure the highest standards of animal welfare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28554/08]

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Michael Creed

Question:

511 Deputy Michael Creed asked the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food the progress made on the programme for Government proposal to introduce a new herd health initiative to deal with non-regulated diseases; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28565/08]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 500 and 511 together.

My Department is actively progressing a herd health initiative and has consulted with the major stakeholders, including farming organisations and representatives of industry, service providers and relevant state agencies, for the purpose of developing proposals to further improve herd health in Ireland particularly in relation to non-regulated diseases.

Discussions to date with the relevant stakeholders indicate their genuine commitment to the initiative which all consider necessary for enhanced animal health and competitiveness. Discussions are continuing with the stakeholders on commitments to funding and on the necessary infrastructure that will need to be put in place to effectively drive the initiative which aims to secure improved productivity and profitability for Irish farmers and international competitiveness of Irish livestock products through a coordinated national approach to animal health by industry, other service providers and government.

Questions Nos. 501 and 502 answered with Question No. 491.

Michael Creed

Question:

503 Deputy Michael Creed asked the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food the progress made on the programme for Government proposal to continue to push for welfare and other non-trade issues to be included in World Trade Organisation negotiations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28557/08]

View answer

The inclusion of animal welfare and other non-trade concerns in WTO negotiations are pursued on an ongoing basis with the Commission and other Member States. These regulations have now reached an important juncture with the calling of a WTO Ministerial meeting for later this month in Geneva. Further progress on the trade talks will be dependent on the outcome of that meeting.