Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Questions (783)

Jackie Cahill

Question:

783. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the reason "not fit for human consumption" would be stamped on the duplicate passport when it was not on the original passport in cases in which a horse owner loses the passport of the horse and pays €200 for a duplicate passport; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44186/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/262 (CR 262/2015) sets out the rules governing the identification of equidae in the EU. This legislation was transposed into national legislation via S.I. 62 of 2016 (as amended).

The identification of an equine is the first step in ensuring the safety of the food chain. This process requires the engagement of a veterinary practitioner to mark the equine and to check for the presence of a transponder which, where present, provides an important link between the animal and its original identification document.

The administration of certain medications is recorded on the equine passport and the loss of this information represents a break in the identity and chain of information on the animal. The loss of an original document and its subsequent replacement with a duplicate passport or a replacement passport results in potentially more than one lifetime identification document in circulation in respect of the animal.

Duplicate documents are issued in accordance with Article 29 of CR 262/2015. Paragraph 2(c) of that Article provides that duplicate passports must be classified as 'not intended for slaughter for human consumption'. Similarly, Article 32(2)(c) of CR 262/2015 sets out similar requirements for replacement equine passports.

The level of fees charged for the issue of duplicate passports is a commercial matter for Passport Issuing Organisations (PIOs).

The Deputy will appreciate that it is imperative that all equine animals slaughtered for human consumption are properly identified in accordance with legislation to ensure the integrity of the food chain and the protection of human health.