Officials of my Department considered this issue as soon as they became aware of the report.
The matter relates to a cohort of passports issued in 2010 following the introduction of new legislation relating to equine identification and arose from a bone fides attempt on the part of Horse Sport Ireland to inform horse owners of the new requirements. The effect of this approach was that veterinary practitioners treating such animals, on examining these passports, acted in the belief that the animals in question had already been excluded from the food chain. Accordingly, they did not deem it necessary to record the medicinal treatments on the passports of the equines in question where they were treated with certain 'restricted' animal remedies.
As it is not possible to confirm from the identification documents in question that the corresponding equines have not been administered such medicinal treatments that are prohibited for use in equines entering the food chain, my Department is of the view that, in order to protect the food chain and public health, the equines corresponding to the passports in question must be excluded from the food chain irrevocably.
My Department has therefore written to Horse Sport Ireland, directing that they discontinue this practice.