Thursday, 13 December 2012

Questions (30)

Bernard Durkan


30. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he is satisfied that adequate provision has been made to meet requirements and costs imposed on the agrifood sector arising from the implementation of animal welfare legislation after 1 January 2013; if any particular difficulty has been brought to his attention in this regard; if he sees any particular response as being appropriate in this context; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [55908/12]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The Animal Health and Welfare Bill, in the main, consolidates existing legislation in the animal health and welfare area. It does not introduce any new requirements on farmers. Animal welfare is an essential part of farming practices and the Animal Health and Welfare Bill represents a further step towards improving Ireland’s already high welfare standards and practices. Markets and consumers already recognise high animal welfare standards as an added value and enhancing welfare standards will serve to increase the competitiveness of Irish agricultural products. It is evident from recent grant schemes that my Department supports animal welfare programmes, for example the Sow Housing welfare scheme and the Laying Hen scheme which were brought in through the Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme. My Department will continue to work with all stakeholders to ensure that Ireland can achieve the highest possible animal welfare standards across the board.