I propose to take Questions Nos. 474 and 475 together.
Carcase classification and carcase presentation controls in slaughter plants are carried out by a dedicated team of specialist staff in the Beef Carcase Classification Section within my Department.
To date in 2018 there have been 521 inspections carried out by inspectors across 32 slaughter plants and 44,332 carcases have been inspected. A total of 19 carcases were fined for non compliance with the EU reference carcase trimming specification. Under legislation (SI 363/2010), non-compliance with the carcase trim specification attracts a maximum on the spot fine of €200 per carcase.
Meat Industry Ireland has agreed that from 1st January 2019 processors will introduce a payment to the farmer supplier to reflect any loss in each case where my Department has applied a trim fine on a particular carcase. Such payment will be identified on the payment remittance docket, so that farmers will be aware of the penalty. In addition, my department will publish the names of plants in which on the spot fines have been applied with effect from 1st January 2019. I also intend to publish the names of plants in which such trim fines were levied in 2018 and 2016 before year end, subject to the completion of a number of formalities.