Thursday, 11 February 2021

Questions (341)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

341. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the degree to which breaches of animal health regulations continue to be brought to the attention of his Department; if specific issues for particular action arising from such incidents have been identified; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7752/21]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Animal health in Ireland is regulated under both EU legislation and national legislation. The Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013 obliges anyone who has an animal in his or her possession or control to safeguard its health and welfare. The Act introduced control and enforcement procedures such as Fixed Payment Notices and Animal Health and Welfare Notices. AHW Notices may be issued both as guidance and to deal with potential disease risks and situations in which animal welfare is compromised. The Act also increased penalties, with the possibility of fines up to €5,000 on summary conviction and six months imprisonment. For major cases taken on indictment, the maximum penalty has been raised from €100,000 to €250,000, with a maximum custodial sentence of five years imprisonment.

Regulations dealing with animal health and related issues are made under the Animal Health and Welfare Act, and the European Communities Act 1972. Officials of my Department carry out compliance checks with the regulations on an on-going basis all across the country. Breaches of or non-compliances with these specific regulations are dealt with by my officials in the Regional Veterinary Offices and the relevant Divisions of my Department.