Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Questions (78)

Willie Penrose

Question:

78. Deputy Willie Penrose asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if the limitation of 125 km in respect of distance restriction applied here to the transport of category 1 animal waste is not related to any European legislation; if European animal by-product legislation does not contain distance limitation in relation to the transport of category 1 by-products and that such limitations as imposed here arises from policy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28080/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The Fallen Animal TSE Subsidy Scheme is an integral part of the infrastructure underpinning Ireland’s successful livestock and meat processing industries. 

The Scheme ensures primarily that fallen bovine animals over 48 months, which must be BSE-tested in accordance with EU legislation, are disposed of in compliance with all animal and public health and environmental regulations.  The 125km rule relates only to fallen animals over 48 months of age that are collected under this scheme.

A review of the Fallen Animal TSE Subsidy Scheme was undertaken in 2013, in consultation with stakeholders. This review took into account TSE testing requirements, Animal By-Product (ABP) regulations, budgetary considerations, the need to maintain competition and the need for an adequate collection and disposal infrastructure including the availability of adequate rendering capacity especially in the event of a serious (Class A) disease outbreak.

Following completion of the consultation process, a number of changes were introduced to the scheme in 2013 with regard to the collection of fallen animals. Those included enhanced compliance provisions and putting limits on the distance material can be transported while maintaining a competitive aspect to the market.

Under the revised terms of the scheme, the haulage distance for material to which the scheme applies from the intermediate plant (knackery) to rendering plant shall not exceed 125kms radius unless with the prior approval of my Department.  The scheme also provides that, where there are not two or more rendering premises inside 125km radius from the intermediate plant, then delivery is permitted to either of the two nearest rendering premises as measured by road.

The rule relating to the distance between knackery and rendering plant only applies to animals under the Fallen Animal TSE Subsidy scheme, that is, bovine animals over 48 months. An operator is free to dispose of animals not eligible under the scheme to a licensed plant of their choice and the arrangements made are a commercial matter between them.