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Fallen Animal Collection Scheme.

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 29 April 2010

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Questions (58)

Willie Penrose

Question:

52 Deputy Willie Penrose asked the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food the way he plans to address increasing fallen animal charges in the interest of small farmers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16915/10]

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

The disposal of fallen animals is subject to EU Regulations, notably Regulation (EC) No 1774 of 2002. These regulations require that animals which die on-farm must generally be disposed of through approved knackeries and rendering plants. My Department's contribution to the Fallen Animals Scheme ceased with effect from 14th April 2009. This was as a result of budgetary constraints and also reflects the greatly reduced incidence of BSE in this country. However I have continued to provide financial support for the collection of certain fallen animals, in particular bovines over 48 months of age, for sampling, as required under the ongoing national TSE surveillance programme.

With the ending of the Fallen Animals Scheme the cost of collection and rendering for animals not covered by the new scheme became a matter for negotiation between the individual collectors/rendering plants and their customers. My Department is continuing, within the boundaries of legal requirements, to make every effort to facilitate measures to maximise flexibility and enable reduction of costs in the rendering/collection system. This includes allowing cross border trade, permitting direct delivery by farmers to authorised plants and encouraging indigenous use of meat and bone meal (MBM) for energy purposes.

Approval conditions have recently been drawn up to facilitate the collection of fallen animals direct from farms by approved rendering plants, including arrangements to provide for TSE testing of these animals where required. Discussions are also ongoing between my Department and farmer and hunt representatives, to consider the feasibility of extending the network of plants authorised to act as knackeries. These measures are designed to help sustain competition in this sector and encourage fair pricing.

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